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Tampa Bay Rays Potential Trade Deadline Upgrades

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May 29, 2017; Arlington, TX, USA; Tampa Bay Rays right fielder Steven Souza Jr. (right) celebrates with first baseman Logan Morrison (7) after scoring against the Texas Rangers during the third inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
May 29, 2017; Arlington, TX, USA; Tampa Bay Rays right fielder Steven Souza Jr. (right) celebrates with first baseman Logan Morrison (7) after scoring against the Texas Rangers during the third inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports /

Addressing the bullpen

Overall, the Tampa Bay Rays bullpen has not been terrible. They have a 4.05 ERA as a collective, 16th in baseball and just below average for relievers throughout the league. It may not be a great mark, but getting Brad Boxberger back would certainly help that number improve.

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Even when Boxberger returns, there are still holes in the Rays bullpen. Xavier Cedeno was expected to be a weapon against lefties, but he posted a 3.429 WHiP in 2.1 innings before landing on the disabled list. Although Jose Alvarado has done well as the sole lefty in the bullpen, the Rays need to have someone else capable of facing batters from that side.

Currently, that role has fallen to Danny Farquhar, who has held lefties to a .175/.314/.175 batting line. However, his overall production has been misleading, as Farquhar has walked 16 batters in 25 innings. Although he has managed to limit the damage by allowing only 16 hits, he is walking a tightrope with those command issues.

Yes, help in the form of Boxberger, and the recently returned Tommy Hunter will provide more depth to the bullpen. But Alvarado is still an unknown commodity, with this being the first season he has ever pitched above high-A ball. Having a second lefty in the bullpen in the event that Alvarado falters would help the Rays chances moving forward.

The Tampa Bay Rays are hovering around .500, and could go on a run. If that happens, a couple of minor tweaks to the roster could make a major difference.

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