The MLB Trade Deadline is fast approaching and the Tampa Bay Rays are a grotesque 4-18 in the month of July, more than a far cry away from what we saw from this club in April, May, and June. At this point, The Rays have surpassed what some were chalking up to be "just a little slump" at the beginning of the month. Clearly, The Rays need to acquire some kind of help before the MLB Trade Deadline on Aug. 1. But what is it that they need?
With the Rays' bullpen failing to be consistent paired with them losing starting pitchers Jeffrey Springs and Drew Rassmussen, some may think that the Rays need to go after an arm before the deadline comes and goes. Sure, it would be nice to plug in a veteran bulldog behind the three-headed monster of Shane McClanahan, Zach Eflin, and Tyler Glasnow. Contrarily, the dog days of summer have seemingly melted the Rays' bats. They are averaging slightly above three runs per game in July. Perhaps the club could look for help on the offensive side of things?
Most Rays fans have caught wind of the reports that have been surfacing lately regarding quarrels among players. Obviously, those of us who aren't in the locker room with the team cannot confirm or deny any of these accusations. However, it is obvious that the team is playing with less potency this month, and the numbers all across the board corroborate that.
Rays pitching should remain plenty effective with the big three still healthy and a fastly improving Taj Bradley. The bullpen will also be augmented when 2021 All-Star Andrew Kittredge makes his return, which is expected to happen in the coming weeks.
On the other hand, you'd be hard-pressed to find anything positive to say about the offensive side of things as they currently stand. This leads to the question, who could the Rays realistically acquire who is a veteran that could immediately provide leadership presence and help bring this offense out of the dumps? One potential candidate is Carlos Santana of the Pittsburgh Pirates. The 37-year-old assisted in propelling the Seattle Mariners to the playoffs in 2022 for the first time in 21 years, and we have already seen the magic that the Rays have done when trading with Pittsburgh.
An additional candidate is Charlie Blackmon. It is rather obvious that Colorado will be wanting to sell at the deadline, and this 37-year-old could certainly provide a leadership presence that the Rays locker room may be lacking. The Rays also shouldn't have to twist his arm too much to come to Tampa Bay as they could potentially provide the four-time All-Star with his first World Series ring.
Some may say that the Rays need a starting pitcher, some may say that they need relief help, and some may say that they need help offensively. Regardless, there is only one thing that is indisputable. That is that the Rays need help.