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Rays Rumors: Numerous Players Wait their Fate

By Althea Pashman
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So far removed from any postseason aspirations, Tampa Bay Rays‘ players wait their fate as the hours toward the trade deadline begin reaching hurricane force winds with no deals looming at this time.

During one’s senior year of high school the yearbook staff begin preparation by putting together compilations of tidbits about their senior classmates. The list is is useless until later on in life, but nonetheless comedic relief when you’ve earned the status of “most likely to succeed,” or “most athletic.”

In baseball, there is a similar list though not useless as one can’t wait to earn the status of “you’ve been promoted.” But, with the trade deadline reaching their final days, some players are learning that they’ve made the list earning the status of “most talked about” or “most likely to be traded.”

Matt Moore, Jake Odorizzi and Steve Pearce have earned not the status of “most likely to succeed, but the “most likely to be traded.” While a handful of others are gaining status of being “most talked about.”

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Chris Archer and Moore faced the Los Angeles Dodgers up close and personal earlier this week remain linked to the Dodgers and the Texas Rangers.

The Tampa Bay Rays will not give up wither pitcher without receiving one of the Dodgers top prospects and probably a major league ready player – not named Yasiel Puig.

The Dodger prospects that are possible are all pitchers Jose DeLeon (LAD – drafted 24th Rd, 2013), Frankie Montas (via trade White Sox 2015) or Grant Holmes (LAD – 22nd overall pick, 1st Rd, 2014). They’re prospects and though their ceiling is high, it could be at least three or more years before reaching the majors.

Dodgers President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman is well aware of Moore and Archer as he was with the Tampa Bay Rays and the one responsible for both players becoming part of the organization and for their contracts.

So, he’s not coming in blind and he knows what the Dodgers would be on the hook for. He also knows what each pitcher can give in terms of performance not just for the remainder of the season, but the future as well.

However, Moore contract status is becoming an impediment to the Tampa Bay Rays and one that is expected to make him the most likely pitcher that the Rays will trade.

According to Cott’s Baseball Contracts in 2017 Moore begins the first of three club option years – the Tampa Bay Rays could pay him the $7 million salary he’s schedule to receive or be bought out for $2.5 million.

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Each year thereafter he salary increases, though the buyout is reduced. 2018 calls for a $9 million salary with a $1 million buyout and in 2019 a salary of $10 million with a $75 thousand dollar buyout.

Archer on the other has a team-friendly contract and is under control though the 2021 season. His salary remains Tampa Bay Rays affordable but, if the price is right Silverman could swing a deal and it doesn’t have to be with the Dodgers.

Since Cleveland missed out on Eduardo Nunez they’ve turned their focus on Pearce according to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com, the Baltimore Orioles and New York Mets have thrown their caps into the ring.

Baltimore has called the Tampa Bay Rays about Erasmo Ramirez since their top choice was swooped up by the Miami Marlins. However, the fit may not work out as the Orioles have a thin farm system.

The Pittsburgh Pirates are the latest to join in on the Archer foray though they are aware of what it could cost them and the same can be said for the Texas Rangers.

Talks have basically come to an impasse with the Rangers as they are refusing to part with Jurickson Profar or Joey Gallo unless Archer is included in some sort of package deal. That theory leads to a possible three-team trade or that the Rangers want another Tampa Bay player – can you say Moore or Odorizzi.

Showcasing his stuff on Friday night to the Texas Rangers scouts, Jake Odorizzi turned in another great performance as he threw 6-2/3 innings of scoreless ball against the New York Yankees possibly increasing his chances of a trade.

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Pittsburgh however is in need of immediate rotation help. Two of their starters are rookies (Jameson Taillon and Tyler Glasnow) and are under the microscope in regards to innings and adding to that Glasnow is now on the 15-day DL with right shoulder discomfort. Taillon has already spent time on the DL with shoulder fatigue.

Pittsburgh could offer up two almost ready major league players in outfielder Austin Meadows or first baseman Josh Bell for Odorizzi, Drew Smyly or Ramirez.

When Tampa Bay Rays President of Baseball Operations/GM Matt Silverman listens to trade offers, he listens hard, does his due diligence and will never pull the trigger for the sake of making a trade.

He is demanding on both fronts – whether the making the offer or getting an offer and at times, because of this teams are reluctant to dealing with the Tampa Bay Rays, more so during this time but less during the offseason.

Next: Tampa Bay Rays Wrap Up Road Trip against Dodgers

As with most things, the Rays do it the “Rays Way” and this being the trade deadline don’t be surprised if this goes down to the wire. It’s the Rays Way.

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