The St. Louis Cardinals made the first big splash at the Winter Meetings, however, my thought is that the Tampa Bay Rays are ready to make their splash.
For weeks, there have been the rumors of Alex Colome heading to the St. Louis Cardinals and once the Tampa Bay Rays made it known that they are will to trade some of their higher priced veterans, including Evan Longoria the wheels started to turn faster with the tires burning some rubber.
Almost immediately, rumors circulated that the Cardinals were interested in Longoria and could possibly seek to acquire not only Colome, but would consider adding Longoria in the same transaction.
With the Cardinals acquiring Marcell Ozuna on Wednesday from the Miami Marlins, speculation on my part is that a potential Colome/Longoria deal could be in the works. St. Louis has all the moving and missing pieces that the Rays need – right-handed hitting outfielders and a right-handed hitting catcher.
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Adding Ozuna to the Cardinals outfield gives them nine right-handed hitting outfielders. The Rays are almost certain to ask for either outfielder Tommy Pham or Randal Grichuk to be part of the package.
However, that is not all…
With no catchers on their 40-man roster other than Wilson Ramos, and as a veteran that will make $10.5 million in 2018, the Rays could potentially trade Ramos – but in order for that to happen, Carson Kelly would need to be included in the trade.
Oh, by the way – what could make Kelly a sure bet to be included is that the Cardinals on Wednesday signed catcher Francisco Pena to a minor league contract, as reported via Twitter by Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch. Pena is the son of former MLB catcher Tony Pena – so, you have to figure that this Cardinals addition is very meaningful, other than just adding depth to their system.
Therefore, a speculative trade of Colome/Longoria to the Cardinals could give a return of one or two outfielders (Pham or Grichuk), a catcher (Kelly) and at least two or three from their top 30 prospects.