The Ways of the Rays: Why trading Tommy Pham was a smart move

By Seth Carter
Tommy Pham (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Tommy Pham (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /
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Tommy Pham
Tommy Pham (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

Breaking down the jaw-dropping trade that sends Tampa Bay Rays’ OF, Tommy Pham to the Padres in exchange for Hunter Renfroe and Xavier Edwards.

Last night the Tampa Bay Rays agreed to move Tommy Pham and Jake Cronenworth to the San Diego Padres in exchange for Hunter Renfroe and Xavier Edwards. The deal is expected to be officially announced later today.

The gut reaction is to cringe. You just traded our star player from a 96-win team? Well we should have at least acquired another star in return and… what? His career OBP is .295, okay now we’re angry right?

Slow your roll. Remember, the Rays were just voted the Organization of the Year by Baseball America. Remember, we have the number one farm system in all the land. Remember, we are smarter than the Yankees and Red Sox.

Why the Rays are smarter than the Yankees and Red Sox. light. Related Story

Tommy Pham is coming off of a 3.7 rWAR season. He slashed. 273/.369/.450 and was a fantasy stud with 21 HRs and 25 SB. He had an OPS+ of 119 with a career OPS+ of 126. This guy can rake, but you already know that.

Pham will provide the Padres with a desperately needed player that can get on base. His career OBP sits at .372, the guy is a really good hitter. I’m not making this easier am I?

While Renfroe is a downgrade in terms of on-base percentage and average, that’s where the downgrading stops.

The Rays are receiving the Padres’ No. 5 overall prospect, according to The Padres also got a two-way player, Jake Cronenworth in the deal, he was the Rays No. 17 prospect.

So why would the Rays trade their best offensive player (arguably) for a guy that hit .216 last year? We’ll dive into the players’ in the following slides and ultimately try and explain why this was a very smart move by GM, Erik Neander, and the Rays. We will begin the next slide by taking a look at the prospects involved. Please proceed to the next slide.