Every year, at the trade deadline, relief pitchers are in high demand. With teams like the Washington Nationals, who have designs of making the World Series, in need of a closer, the returns could once again be high for relievers.
In Alex Colome, the Tampa Bay Rays could have one of the prized closers on the market. Thus far, he has notched 15 saves while posting a 2.05 ERA and a 0.987 WHiP. In his 26.1 innings, Colome has struck out 23 batters while issuing nine walks.
Although this season has not been at the same level as his breakout 2016 campaign, there are still positives. Colome has allowed just 5.8 hits per nine thus far, a full hit less than last year. Even though his strikeout rate has dropped, that decrease in hits is a strong indication that he will remain one of the better closers in the game.
This strong followup performance could assuage any concerns that Colome is simply a one year wonder at closer. By performing at a similar level this season, he is starting to gain a track record as a solid closer, which always commands a premium on the trade market. And, as he is under team control through 2021, Colome would be far more than a rental.
There is no reason for the Rays to trade Alex Colome. But if a team thinks that he is that final piece they need to get to the World Series, the offer may be too good to pass up.