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Tampa Bay Rays Offseason Trade Target: Domingo Santana

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SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 5: Domingo Santana #16 of the Seattle Mariners hits a two-run home run off of relief pitcher Reymin Guduan #64 of the Houston Astros during the sixth inning of a game at T-Mobile Park on June 5, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 5: Domingo Santana #16 of the Seattle Mariners hits a two-run home run off of relief pitcher Reymin Guduan #64 of the Houston Astros during the sixth inning of a game at T-Mobile Park on June 5, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
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SEATTLE, WA – AUGUST 9: Starter Jalen Beeks #68 of the Tampa Bay Rays delivers a pitch during the second inning of a game against the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park on August 9, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA – AUGUST 9: Starter Jalen Beeks #68 of the Tampa Bay Rays delivers a pitch during the second inning of a game against the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park on August 9, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

The Trade:

In an effort to create a trade similar to the Jesus Aguilar deal, SoDo Mojo and I decided to revolve the deal around young controllable starting pitching. In this hypothetical trade, the Rays would send a pair of starting pitcher/bulk arms, Jalen Beeks and Jose De Leon, to the Mariners in exchange for Domingo Santana and pitching prospect Anthony Kerr.

Similar to Domingo Santana, Jalen Beeks struggled mightily in the second half after a strong first half. After posting a 2.79 ERA in the first half across 61.1 innings, he struggled to the tune of a 6.79 ERA across 43.0 innings after the all-star break.

Used primarily as a bulk pitcher, Beeks could get lost in the shuffle in 2020 behind a healthy rotation and plenty of options to fill the backend of the rotation.

Jose De Leon returned late last season after rehabbing from Tommy John Surgery and struck out seven batters across four innings of work. Throughout his injury plagued career, De Leon has logged 23.2 innings and pitched to a 6.08 ERA across the 2016, 2017, and 2019 seasons. Similar to Beeks, De Leon’s role with the Rays is an unknown and while he has the ability and talent to hold down a major-league rotation spot, it is unclear if he will get that chance with the Rays.

Beeks is under control through the 2024 season and De Leon will hit free agency after 2023. Both give the Mariners years of control, but neither are surefire options to solve their pitching woes going forward. Both come with upside and the ability to produce at a high level but they also come with their fair share of question marks as well.

For Beeks, his inability to start games and get through a lineup three times successfully will limit his ceiling with the Mariners as it did in Tampa Bay. For De Leon, his ability to stay healthy will decide just how productive he can be in a Mariners uniform.

In exchange for Beeks and De Leon, the Rays would receive the previously discussed Domingo Santana as well as Raymond Kerr, a left handed pitching prospect with an electric arm.

Kerr, 25, spent a majority of the year with the Mariners High-A affiliate where he worked as a starter and reliever. As a reliever he was much more effective and touched 99 MPH though his fastball lives 94-97. He relies on a two plane slider that sits 78-80 MPH and a 84-88 MPH circle change. All three are believed to be big-league pitches. At the end of the season, they promoted him from High-A to Triple-A where he appeared in one game.

In total, he finished with a3.82 ERA and 95 strikeouts in 92 innings. The most interesting part about Kerr is the fact that he struck out 60 batters in 48 innings of relief. The Rays have had success in the past when developing high octane arms out of the pen and it could be interesting to see what they could do with Kerr.

Essentially, the Rays would be parting ways with a pair of controllable arms with upside for Domingo Santana, a power bat they desperately need, and Raymond Kerr, an electric southpaw with upside.

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