The Tampa Bay Rays have made yet another move for an outfielder, just days after acquiring David Peralta from the Arizona Diamondbacks. This time the Rays acquire a more controllable asset in former Houston Astro Jose Siri in a three-team deal that's sending Trey Mancini out of the AL East and to Houston.
Siri has had an insufficient 2022, with a paltry .542 OPS and .178/.238/.304 slash. However, Siri is just a year removed from a fantastic September 2021, which saw him hit .304/.347/.609 in just under 50 trips to the plate. The potential is there, but he seems to be struggling to re-adjust as the league finds kinks in his swing.
There seems to be a lot to work with for a player such as Siri, though, considering he's produced an above-average hard-hit rate and barrel percentage. Despite this, the exit velocity hasn't quite been there and Siri's BB/K numbers aren't exactly adequate, but his .282 BAbip provides enough to warrant a look at the bat. Siri's a very Rays-like project, too, as a hitter whose profile primarily features groundballs (41.9%). If the Rays can use his launch angle to elevate the ball more, perhaps it can also generate more power and perhaps more luck. Siri also won't be a free agent until 2028, giving the Rays another controllable asset.
The deal, per Mark Feinsand, sees the Astros acquire Mancini from Baltimore and Jayden Murray from the Rays. An unranked righty, Murray has a 2.6 ERA in three minor league seasons and will now pitch in one of the league's best pitching development organizations. The Orioles, on the other hand, acquire Houston's number 12 prospect Chayce McDermott and Rays number six prospect Seth Johnson. Johnson, who has a plus fastball that reaches 98 on the gun and a buckling curve, is expected to reach the Majors in 2023 per MLB. He has an ERA of 3.00 in seven games in High-A ball in 2022.
To make room on the roster, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times is reporting that the team has designated Brett Phillips for assignments. Phillips, a fan-favorite, is a beloved personality within the city and has a number of big moments with the club, including his now-iconic walk-off in the 2020 World Series. Phillips, who grew up as a neighbor to former WWE Champion Randy Savage only minutes from Tropicana Field, is a hometown talent. Yet, his Major League track record is underwhelming across stints with The Brewers, Royals and Rays. Phillips has slashed .190/.276/.350 lifetime, which isn't quite setting the world aflame at the MLB level. His 39 OPS+ in 2022 is among the worst in baseball, marking him over 60% worse than the average player this season.
We'll continue to monitor all trade deadline transactions for the Rays. The trade deadline is tomorrow at 4 EST.
Follow me on Twitter: @TheJameus