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Dave Cameron Proposes a Trade

Dave Cameron's newest post at USSM tackles the idea of buying and selling, and well, he wants to buy Reid Brignac. Cameron mentions Erik Bedard and Jeff Clement as potential fits for the Rays, and also notes it's possible that A) the Rays wouldn't want Bedard due to injury related pitfalls, B) couldn't afford Bedard, and C) just wouldn't trade Brignac because he's a pretty fine player to have in the pipeline.

I can understand the idea of the Rays acquiring Bedard. He ends any questions about whether the quality of rotation is there, and maybe, just maybe he sneaks into the Type-A status which would net the Rays some extra draft picks. But then there's the whole salary and injury thing, and we already have a southpaw, albeit of lesser quality, with those same issues. Once Kazmir returns, the Rays have six starters for five spots even if one of Sonnanstine/Niemann/Talbot is sent back to Seattle.

The long-term piece of the equation is Jeff Clement. I've talked about him before. He's a lefty, there's questions about his ability to call games and there's a knee injury that has bugged him for most of the year. His bat is pretty good, and he'd fit the Trop quite nicely. He's almost 26-years-old but he's a former top five draft pick with less than 250 career plate appearances. He's hit extremely well in the minors; batting .282/.371/.487 in Triple-A alone. There are some questions about his bat speed and whether he can catch, but the worst case scenario is Clement becoming a first baseman or DH.

The question comes down to whether you want Brignac as your shortstop or second baseman within the next 3-5 years, and whether Clement can stick at catcher. Bedard is a rental piece and at best a 2 win upgrade the rest of the way, although even that seems a bit optimistic depending on which pitcher the Rays are sending back, if any.

I don't know if Bedard/Clement for Brignac/non-elite starting pitcher is the best match, but I can bet the two teams will be discussing similar deals we approach July 31st.