As of June 21st, the Tampa Bay Rays sit at 36-31, 14 games back of the 1st place Yankees and 0.5 game back of the third AL Wild Card. Recent play has caused the Rays to fall off, as the club is 2-8 in their last 10 games. The two main culprits for this fall in production seem to be their struggling offense and plethora of injuries.
Five of the club's Opening Day Starters currently find themselves on the injured list: Wander Franco, Mike Zunino, Brandon Lowe, Manuel Margot, and Kevin Kiermaier. While the club has battled injuries to their pitching staff as well, the clubs ERA is 4th in baseball sitting at 3.15. Meanwhile, the offense ranks 27th in baseball in OPS, only above rebuilding clubs like the Pirates, Tigers, and Athletics.
While the club has tried to rely on its deep farm system to fill some of the production lost by injury, the Rays rookies have produced a wRC+ of just 44, 26th in baseball. It is becoming increasingly clear that the club will need to look outside the organization and acquire talent for the lineup if it desires to keep up with other contenders in the National League.
While there are a variety of players that could become available at the trade deadline that could make major impacts for the club, they likely need to bring in a stop gap player or two in the meantime to help keep the team afloat. Here are three different bats the club could look to acquire in the near future.