With all the talk about who the Tampa Bay Rays will trade for or sign to fill the void left by C.J. Cron, we can not lose sight of the fact that they would also be wise to add a starting pitcher. Although the asking price for Thor may be high, 3 years of control is too much to pass up.
Whether or not the New York Mets will trade their prized starting pitcher is still to be determined, but if they do choose to trade Noah Syndergaard, the Tampa Bay Rays match up as near perfect trade partners. The Mets are thought to be looking for MLB ready talent, possibly a center fielder, a catching prospect, a pitcher, and a second baseman.
The plan that I will layout is very aggressive, but possibly necessary. The plan allows the Rays to address the need for a starting pitcher and an impactful right-handed hitting power bat, if not two. Why should the Rays settle for a veteran free agent pitcher when they have a chance to trade for dominant starting pitcher in his prime with three years of control to his name.
With the Braves recent signing of Josh Donaldson, the free agent options for an impactful right-handed bat are Nelson Cruz, Andrew McCutchen, and A.J. Pollock. Although it is fun to fantasize about the possibility of the Rays trading for sluggers like Paul Goldschmidt or Jose Abreu, but the reality is that they have one year of control left and the Rays simply don’t trade years of control away in return for 1 year of control, regardless of his abilities at the plate.
Why trade away valuable prospects for 1 year of control when you could trade them away and get 3 years of dominant pitching in return…? 3 years of control would certainly appeal to the Rays front office, just as it would to any front office. So, maybe it is time for the Rays to switch gears and pull the trigger and trade for an impactful starting pitcher like Noah Syndergaard.
In his career, Syndergaard has a 2.93 ERA and a 2.66 FIP. He has a career ERA+ of 132 and has struck out 573 batters in 518.1 innings pitched. The only major question that surrounds the righty is his health as he has never surpasses 200 innings pitched in his career. He has thrown at least 150 innings twice and 180 innings once.
This plan is bold, but so are the Rays. This plan is aggressive, but all signs point to the Rays wanting to be aggressive. But the Rays will make an impact move this offseason, this may be it.