5 Players the Tampa Bay Rays Could Trade For Before the Deadline

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Erik Swanson, RP (Seattle Mariners)

The Rays just lost star reliever Andrew Kittredge to Tommy John surgery, and they have the resources to replace him from within the system, but they could also recreate him by pursuing a reliever with a similar style: enter Swanson. If the Mariners continue to slide away from the playoff picture, they may decide to retool at the deadline, and assets that could help contending teams might be in play.

Swanson is under team control for three more years, which would raise his price tag, but the Mariners may be inclined to deal him due to his injury history, and the Rays are an attractive buyer due to their unparalleled organizational depth. The Rays and Mariners also swung a trade that sent reliever JT Chargois to St. Pete in 2021, so there is a mutual familiarity between the two clubs with regards to a deal of this type.

If the Mariners were to sell at the Major League level, Swanson may not be the first reliever to hit the market, but since the start of 2021, he has been very dependable, with a 2.76 ERA, 3.23 FIP, and a strikeout-to-walk ratio exceeding 5 to 1 in 41.1 innings. He has a fastball in the mid-90s in terms of velocity that he uses just over half the time and a slider as his secondary pitch.

Arguably his biggest strength is his ability to limit walks against - all of these traits are similar to the injured Kittredge. His 2022 salary sits at just over $700K, making him a financially affordable option that would add depth to an injury-riddled bullpen - all while being stylistically similar to a top-tier weapon that the Rays just lost for the season.