Tampa Bay Rays Bullpen Hunt Continues to Expand

By David Hill
DETROIT, MI - JULY 6: Justin Wilson
DETROIT, MI - JULY 6: Justin Wilson /

The Tampa Bay Rays bullpen woes are well documented. However, they appear determined to solve those problems, as the Rays are being linked to a few more relievers.

Given the revolving door in the Tampa Bay Rays bullpen, it would make sense that they would be linked to virtually any solid reliever that could be available. Those rumors began with the news that the Rays are interested in Giants reliever Hunter Strickland, a possible power arm to help the relief corps.

However, the Rays are not just interested in Strickland. The Rays are also interested in a pair of lefty relievers, targeting Justin Wilson and Tony Watson. Of course, it has also been noted that the Rays are at least somewhat interested in every reliever around.

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The former Pirates closer, Watson had a rough start to the season, but has pitched much better lately. In his past 13 outings, totaling 10.2 innings, Watson has allowed just a single run. Overall, he has posted a 3.67 ERA, although with a high 1.488 WHiP. Watson, however, would serve as a potential upgrade as the Rays lefty reliever.

Likewise, Wilson is another lefty, although without the track record of success that Watson has had over his career. Nonetheless, he has had a stellar 2017 campaign, serving as one of the Tigers co-closers. So far, Wilson has ten saves while posting a 2.29 ERA and a 0.906 WHiP. In his 35.1 innings, Wilson has struck out 50 batters with only 13 walks.

Even though the Rays have yet to make that needed bullpen upgrade, the fact that they are aggressively pursuing such options has to send a message. The first Wild Card team, they are also in contention for the AL East. The Rays are not going anywhere, and these rumors are proof that they aim to contend.

Next: Rays season outlook

The Tampa Bay Rays need to upgrade their bullpen. As such, it may not be a surprise that they are linked to virtually every reliever available.