By: Ross Sutton
The Rays were very active during the trade deadline this year, mostly as sellers. The only time they gave up prospects was when they traded for the now former centerfielder of the Cardinals, Tommy Pham. Pham has been a late bloomer in the majors, as he had his first really good season last year with the Cardinals at age 29. His numbers have fallen off a bit since last then, but he has shown he can be great before, so maybe he can to get back to that elite level of play with the Rays. The Rays gave up prospects Justin Williams, Genesis Cabrera, and Roel Ramirez to get Pham, so it was a pretty even trade. Williams is ranked as the Cardinals 9th best prospect and Cabrera is the Cardinals 14th best prospect according to MLB Pipeline. That being said, the Rays still have control of Pham through the 2021 season while he is arbitration eligible, so the team-freindly contract is a huge plus for Tampa Bay.
The Pham trade was a good move by the Rays in my opinion, but that wasn’t even the best move they made today, as they traded Chris Archer to the Pirates for prospects Austin Meadows, Tyler Glasnow, and a player to be named later. I think this trade favored the Rays much more than the Pirates, as Pittsburgh gave up quite a lot for a pitcher that has a 4.31 ERA this year. I know Archer has a very team-friendly contract, but Austin Meadows and Tyler Glasnow are two of the most talented young players in baseball. Even though I believe the Pirates gave up too much for Archer, I really respect the fact they are going for it this year and trying their best to make a push for a wild card spot. Before the All-Star break, the Pirates general manager, Neil Huntington, said that the team would have to go on a run before they make some big moves, and then they won 9 gams in a row, so I love that Huntington put his money where his mouth is and supported the team at the deadline. Not only did the Pirates get Archer, but they also acquired reliever Keone Kela from the Rangers to fortify the back-end of the bullpen.
The Rays already have players in the majors that they see as their core group for years to come with Blake Snell, Willy Adames, Kevin Kiermaier, and Jake Bauers, so when you add talented players such as Tommy Pham, Austin Meadows, and Tyler Glasnow to the mix, this Rays team could be extremely good very soon. Then to make matters even worse for opposing teams in the league, the Rays have a loaded farm system with Brent Honeywell, Brendan McKay, Jesus Sanchez, and Matthew Liberatore waiting in the wings to contribute at the major league level. So with all that being said, I think the Rays proved why they are one of the most well-run franchises in all of baseball.
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