Rays Trades: Deals Send Guyer, Moore and Pearce Packing


It was a busy day for the Tampa Bay Rays as they pulled the trigger on three trade deadline deals in the final hours, which included a member of their starting rotation.

In the weeks leading up to the trade deadline, the rumors were swirling that some of the Tampa Bay Rays starters and or position player could be dealt.

Well, it panned out as Matt Moore and Steve Pearce were dealt, Moore going to the San Francisco Giants and Pearce to the Baltimore Orioles. What wasn’t expected was the trade of Brandon Guyer to the Cleveland Indians.

There had been some noise that Pearce could be headed to Cleveland for his versatility being able to man the corner outfield and as well providing some backup around the diamond. Cleveland has been looking for outfield help the majority of the season and picking up Guyer fit the bill.

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Over five seasons all with the Tampa Bay Rays, the 30-year-old Guyer hit .255/.341/.396 (217-for-851). This season, he has been hit by pitch a major-league-leading 23 times over 63 games, 55 starts (22-LF, 14-CF, 10-RF, 9-DH).

He is one of five players in the majors with at least 10 starts at all three outfield positions Guyer leaves the Rays as the franchise’s career leader with 58 hit by pitches.

"Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Guyer said he had no inkling that he’d be traded. Guyer called it bittersweet to leave the Rays but said he was excited about joining the Indians."

In return, the Tampa Bay Rays have received two minor league prospects, outfielder Nathan Lukes and right-handed pitcher Jhonleider Salinas.

Lukes 22-year-old outfielder who was batting .299/.369/.444 (109-for-365) with 22 doubles, eight triples, five home runs and 33 RBI in 94 games this season between Class-A Lake County and Class-A Lynchburg.

Lukes was selected in the 2015 MLB Draft (7-RD, 214-overall) out of Sacramento State University.

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At the time of his promotion on July 27, he was ranked among the Midwest League leaders in slugging percentage (ninth), on-base plus slugging (.829, sixth), hits (10th), extra-base hits (34, 10th), triples (8, tied for second) and runs scored (54, ninth).

Also in the deal is Jhonleider Salinas a 21-year-old hard throwing right-hander was signed as a free agent out of Venezuela in 2015.

So far this with the Rookie-level Arizona League Indians Salinas has posted a 3-2 record with a 3.30 ERA (30-IP, 11-ER) and 11.4 strikeouts per nine innings in nine games (four starts) and ranks among AZL leaders in ERA (10th) and strikeouts (38, third).

Over parts of two minor league seasons, he is 5-4 with a 2.93 ERA (70.2-IP, 23-ER) in 23 appearances (13 starts).

Steve Pearce goes back to the Baltimore Orioles for Class-A catcher Jonah Heim. Pearce, who was signed as a free agent to a one-year deal during the offseason, returns to the team that he left after last season.

Rays President of Operations Matt Silverman took a gamble on signing Pearce, hoping that he could possibly show a return to his breakout season of 2014. Pearce did just that as hit .309/.388/.520 (63-for-204) with 11 doubles, 10 home runs, 29 RBI and 26 walks in 60 games, 54 starts (27-1B, 14-2B, 12-DH, 1-3B).

In acquiring the 21-year-old Heim, the Tampa Bay Rays add much needed depth to their catching position. A 2013, fourth-round pick out of Amherst High School in New York is praised for his defense, but not so with his hitting.

Heim is batting .216/.300/.344/.643 with seven home runs and 30 RBIs during 88 games at Single-A Frederick this season. During his four-year minor league career, spanning 206 games, he is a .216/.281/.320/.601 hitter with nine homers and 59 RBIs.

The big trade of the day was with the San Francisco Giants who acquired Matt Moore. In exchange the Tampa Bay Rays received third baseman Matt Duffy, pitcher Michael Santos and shortstop Lucius Fox.

Moore leaves the Tampa Bay Rays having been their best pitcher over the past month and a half going 5-3 with a 2.39 ERA on his past nine starts ranking fifth in the American League in ERA over that span. Overall on the season he’s 7-7 with a 4.08.

Matt Duffy is currently on the DL since mid-June with a strained left Achilles and was batting He is batting .253/.313/.358 (64-for-257) with 11 doubles, two triples, four home runs and 21 RBI in 70 games, 66 starts (all at third base).

He finished second in the NL Rookie of the Year voting in 2015 when he hit .295 with 12 homers, 77 RBIs and a .762 OPS and can play all four infield positions. Over his three-year major league career, Duffy has hit .281/.326/.399 (250-for-890) and has spent time at third base (205 games), second base (18 games), shortstop (10 games) and first base (one game).

Michael Santos entered the 2016 season ranked by Baseball America as the No. 19 prospect in the Giants system. He is currently 4-2 with a 2.91 ERA (58.2-IP, 19-ER) in 10 games (all starts) with Class-A Augusta this season.

Over parts of four minor league seasons, he has gone 9-9 with a 2.84 ERA (177.2-IP, 56-ER) in 37 games (36 starts). He signed with the Giants as a free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 2012.

Signed as an International free agent in July 2015, the 19-year-old Lucius Fox was ranked by MLB.com as the No. 3 International prospect in the 2015 class and he entered this season ranked as the No. 4 prospect in the Giants system by Baseball America.

Currently playing with Class-A Augusta, he’s batting .207/.305/.277 (59-for-285) in 75 games and his 25 stolen bases rank sixth in the South Atlantic League.

Moore leaves the Tampa Bay Rays having been their best pitcher over the past month and a half going 5-3 with a 2.39 ERA on his past nine starts ranking fifth in the American League in ERA over that span. Overall on the season he’s 7-7 with a 4.08.

Based on his recent pitching performances and his contract status, Moore was almost certain to be traded.

At the conclusion of this season, all that remained contract wise were team options, with totaling $26 million. Moore is scheduled to make $7 million in 2017, with a club option that includes a $2.5 million dollar buyout.

Next: Rays Rumors: Numerous Players Wait their Fate

Moore will be remembered for his 2013 season when he was named an AL All-Star, compiling a 17-4 record with 3.29 ERA and becoming the youngest starting pitcher (22-years-old) ever to win his team’s postseason opener when he started Game 1 of the American League Division Series in both 2013 (vs. Boston) and 2011 (vs. Texas).