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Why the Rays traded Sanchez and De Leon

SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 11: (L-R) Ryan Yarbrough #48 of the Tampa Bay Rays, Matt Duffy #5, Avisail Garcia #24 and Ji-Man Choi #26 celebrate after a game against the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park on August 11, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. The Rays won the game 1-0. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 11: (L-R) Ryan Yarbrough #48 of the Tampa Bay Rays, Matt Duffy #5, Avisail Garcia #24 and Ji-Man Choi #26 celebrate after a game against the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park on August 11, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. The Rays won the game 1-0. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
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The Rays made several moves ahead of the deadline to finalize the 40-man roster. They selected five contracts, DFA’d Matt Duffy and traded two players away.

The Rays were busy ahead of the 8 pm deadline to solidify the 40-man roster. GM, Erik Neander worked his magic to maximize value on the Tampa roster. Here’s a rundown of the moves that were made:

Contracts Selected to the 40-Man Roster

Players Traded Away 

Players Acquired

  • Curtis Mead
  • Player to be named later (he’s my favorite player)
  • Cash (potentially some coupons for a “buy 10 for $10” protein bars at Publix)*

*Note: You don’t actually have to buy 10 to get the deal, I have been unaware of this for decades. I hope I have saved you several years of pain, wasted money and embarrassment.

Players Designated for Assignment

If you are unfamiliar with what any of these terms mean, please read our explanation of the 40-Man Roster, DFAs, and the Rule 5 Draft to get up to speed.

Selected Contracts

The list of players added to the 40-man roster includes MLB.com’s 39th ranked prospect, Vidal Brujan. These players can now be utilized as Major League reserves and are protected from being whisked away in the Rule 5 Draft.

Traded Players

Jose De Leon was once a highly-regarded prospect who has seen his share of injuries. The Rays opted not to use a space on the 40-man roster for him this year. By trading him they were able to receive something of value instead of letting him go in the Rule 5 Draft. Knowing the Rays, the player to be named later will end up being an All-Star.

Cristopher Sanchez put together a nice 2019 for the Rays between Single-A Bowling green and A+ Charlotte. In 75.2 IP he finished with a 2.26 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 73 K’s and the lowest BB/9 rate (3.1) of his professional career.

Again, moving Sanchez for a quality 19-year-old bat was a smart move. When you have the top-ranked farm system in the league, good players can be left on the outside looking in. Acquiring Curtis Mead for Sanchez was a better move than if someone were to select Sanchez in the Rule 5 Draft. Instead of being left empty-handed, we have a 19-year-old player who hit .285/.351/.462 in Rookie Ball last season.

Matt Duffy

Unfortunately, Matt Duffy’s time with the Rays has come to an end. Duffy was a solid defender, a great leader, and a good contact hitter. The injuries limited his experience with the Rays and the DFA should provide him with another opportunity to contribute somewhere.

Next. Could the Rays trade for this big bat?. dark

Now that we are past the 40-Man Roster deadline, what do you think the next move is for the Rays this offseason? Let us know in the comment section below!

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