Carlos Carrasco, RHP, 31
The right hander out of Venezuela is the player that the Rays need most. A #2 starter with 2 years of control totally under 19.25 million is a bargain the Rays can’t pass up this offseason.
Largely overlooked and undervalued in a rotation led by Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer, Carlos Carrasco has won over 35 games the past two years. While throwing 392 innings, and striking out 457 batters, Carrasco has quietly risen to be one of the better pitchers in baseball.
2017 proved to be a career year as he finished 4th in the Cy Young voting and the following season didn’t disappoint. In 2018, he struck out 231 hitters over 192 innings, going 17-10. He had an ERA+ of 129 and amassed 3.9 wins above replacement.
Carrasco would require the biggest prospect haul, but would provide the Rays with a more cost-effective option compared to free agents such as Eovaldi, Happ, Ryu, or Morton. Pairing Carrasco with the ever-talented Blake Snell would give the Rays a dominant one two punch at the top of their rotation.
The Rays have the prospect pool and financial flexibility to acquire Carlos Carrasco and they should do just that.