Major League Baseball’s trade deadline is set for 4 p.m. EST on Wednesday, July 31 and from the way things stand right now, the Rays are not expected to make any moves prior to the non-waiver deadline.
There has been little talk, though Rays Executive VP Andrew Friedman has had and continues to have numerous conversations in regards to making a deal or two.
“We are always looking to improve, and between now and Wednesday, we’re going to do everything we can to do that,” Friedman said Saturday.
Friedman did pull off a trade on Monday evening that could turn out to be one of his best acquisitions, even if it’s just a rental (free agent at season’s end) by acquiring injured All-Star reliever Jesse Crain from the Chicago White Sox.
Crain who is currently on the disabled list with a shoulder strain hasn’t pitched since June 29 and remains confident that with the right program (rest and buildup) he will return to his dominating form from the first half of the season.
Crain is among the best relievers in the game and undoubtedly one of the top three set-up men in baseball along with the Ray’s Joel Peralta and David Robertson of the Yankees.
“It’s too early to speculate on exactly when (he’ll return), but with our training staff and everything we’ve learned about Jesse we’re confident he will come back and impact this team,” Friedman said.
Tied for the best record in the majors with the Oakland A’s at 63-43, there really isn’t much that the Rays need for the rest of the season. However, if there is the opportunity to help the team now and for the future a deal will certainly be made.
Looking at the team right now in regards to positional players they’re set and it’s apparent by the fact that manager Joe Maddon has problems – though good ones, getting all the players into the lineup.
As for the pitching staff, there are plenty of arms to go around from the major league level and down in Durham as well.
With talk of manager Joe Maddon possibly going to a four-man rotation next month, starter Roberto Hernandez is likely headed to the bullpen leaving David Price, Jeremy Hellickson, Matt Moore and rookie Chris Archer as the four starters. Alex Cobb is also expected back sometime next month which could complicate things even more.
Some previous deadline deals (since 2006):
7/12/06 – Houston: Acquired Ben Zobrist and Mitch Talbot for Aubrey Huff
7/31/06 – Dodgers: Acquired Joel Guzman and Sergio Pedroza for Julio Lugo.
7/27/07 – Brewers: Acquired Grant Balfour for Seth McClung.
7/28/07 – Houston: Acquired Dan Wheeler for Ty Wigginton.
7/28/07 – Reds: Acquired Calvin Medlock and Brian Shackelford for Jorge Cantu, Shaun Cumberland and cash.
7/31/10 – Diamondbacks: Acquired Chad Qualls for a player to be named (Matt Gorgen).
7/24/12 – Diamondbacks: Acquired Ryan Roberts for Tyler Bortnick.
For more info: Tampa Bay Rays
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