We all know about the Rays need of a left-handed hitter, specifically one that can play in right field. I propose we trade with the Astros for OF Luke Scott. I have contacted some people who are more knowledgeable than myself of the Astros organization to ask what it would take to pry Luke Scott from their hands. I have knocked some idea's around with RJ and we came up with 2 options for them. Also in this column is a full explanation of how a platoon of Luke Scott and Jonny Gomes would completely outperform Delmon Young.
Check out the trade idea's and the explanation of the platoon after the jump.
Trade option #1
Rays get: OF Luke Scott
Astros get: SP Jason Hammel and RP Chad Orvella
Trade option #2
Rays get: OF Luke Scott
Astros get: SP JP Howell and RP Al Reyes
Both of these trade's would give up a SP and a RP, but wouldn't have a major affect on this 2008 Rays team, except for Al Reyes. This move however would give us a formidable bat that would more than offset the losses. In return we would get our left-handed OF bat, that can hit for power.
I would like to take a look at how this potential platoon of Scott/Gomes would work out. To do this I first took a look at Delmon Young's numbers from last year. Last year Delmon had 645 at-bats, in which 74.6% were against right-handed pitchers. Luke Scott had 310 at-bats against right-handed pitchers and Gomes had 96 at-bats against left-handed pitchers. If you combine their stats and look at them as one platoon, their platoon would have 76.4% of their at-bats against right-handed pitchers, which should make for good comparisons to Delmons season once we extrapolate their total of 406 at-bats out to the 645 of Delmon. If you are still with me, these stats should be very revealing.
Obviously throughout the entire season we would not be able to strictly enforce this platoon. There will be instances where Jonny would have to face a right-handed pitcher, but this is just a broad look to see some sort of estimation of what to expect. As we can see from these stats our production from the RF position would greatly increase from last year. Our OPS at that position would increase by nearly .150 points, and the home run numbers would be doubled from last year for a much-needed injection of power to the Rays offense.
Delmon may one day become the great player he is expected to be, but if the team is trying to compete this year, then we have upgraded at that position. This analysis completely ignores Rocco and Ruggiano who will both play a significant role on this team. With the addition of Longoria to the lineup as well, this can become one of the top offenses in baseball for years to come.