Tampa Bay Rays: Who Gets the Next Long Term Deal?

By David Hill
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Sep 28, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Jose De Leon (87) pitches during the first inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports /

Jose De Leon

Evan Longoria may have been upset to see Logan Forsythe be traded to the Dodgers, but the Tampa Bay Rays did pick up a key piece for the future in Jose De Leon.

The 24 De Leon had been considered a consensus top 30 prospect prior to the 2016 season. He lived up to that billing with Oklahoma City Dodgers in the Pacific Coast League, posting a 7-1 record with a 2.61 ERA and a 0.938 WHiP. In his 86.1 innings, De Leon struck out 111 batters while issuing only 20 walks.

That was more than enough to allow De Leon to make his debut with the Dodgers last year. He did show flashes of brilliance, even if his overall 6.35 ERA and 1.529 WHiP are not what one would have hoped for. However, he is still considered one of the Rays top prospects, and ranked 33rd in the MLB.com top 100.

The Rays are counting on De Leon to be a key part of their rotation going forward. While he is under team control for the next six seasons, it may be worth looking at an extension in the next couple of years. Yes, long term extensions for pitchers can be a risky proposition, but that does need to be weighed against the going cost for quality arms.

Jose De Leon is going to be a key part of the Tampa Bay Rays future. If he performs well in the next couple of years, a long term extension may be in the plans.