There are five hours left in this year's trade deadline, and thus far the Rays' to do list is looking a lot like Patrick's.
Sure the team shipped out David DeJesus for an electric arm, but that lotto ticket isn't the big move that Archer has his fingers crossed for, nor is it all that exciting of a move. DeJesus is an easy fan and clubhouse favorite, but getting value for him in the midst of a roster jam was necessary.
As we approach the deadline, my question is simple: What move would you make if you could? And no, I'm not talking about Puig, as much as I want baseball to be fun.
I'll go first:
Rays acquire: C Yan Gomes, RP Bryan Shaw, SP Shawn Marcum, and a prospect
This move accomplished two important goals, in terms of the trade deadline: buying low on Gomes, and adding to the bullpen.
The catcher Gomes is of particular relevance, as he was first identified by Kevin Cash to be acquired when he joined the Indians coaching staff in 2013, and he is mired in an offensive slump. You know what the Rays don't care about? Offense at catcher! Easy to absorb if he doesn't rebound, though it throws our analysis off. I think his current 67 wRC+ is not real, but neither might be the previous seasons (121, 130), but a career average of 109 would be dandy.
Added into the trade are RP Bryan Shaw, a quintessential bullpen add in case the Rays make the playoffs whose price should remain low through team control years, and recently-demoted Shawn Marcum to cover the gap until Drew Smyly is able to return from his shoulder rehab.
Here's what the surplus value figures look like for Gomes and Shaw, courtesy of Jason Hanselman, with surplus and dsicounted-surplus figures.
Indians acquire: SP Nathan Karns, C Curt Casali, SS Hak Ju Lee
Going back to the Indians is Nathan Karns, who is rumored to be for sale, and Ian discussed this morning:
I went ahead and ran the surplus value numbers for both players using the same method that Jason Hanselman outlined on his site, Dock of the Rays.
Karns is pitching in his rookie year, so he'll be under team control until 2020. Puig can opt into arbitration, but if he does not, his contract will slowly escalate to where he's paid $7.5 million in 2018. Both of these players are very affordable, even for small-market teams like the Rays, so throw out any concerns about not being able to sustain their salaries. This trade would be about value.
If we assume that Karns is pitching at his true talent now, he could very easily be a three-WAR pitcher next season. Starting him there and knocking off half a win per season due to decline and injury risk yields a surplus value of $60 million.
That makes up most of the difference in value, and rounding it out with an incentive piece like Hak Ju Lee salves the Shaw aspect of the trade.
Lee was recently identified by Minor League Ball as a strong deadline trade chip for the Rays to move this deadline, and for a decent short stop prospect, he's relatively blocked by Ryan Brett, Nick Franklin and the stud SS's on their way up (Willy Adames, Daniel Robertson).
To make this work, however, the Rays likely need to send Casali to Cleveland, as the catching depth in their organization does not seem particularly strong. Casali has the bat and a good reputation with pitchers here, so he's a decent get. Round that our with a prospect coming back, and this is a solid trade in my opinion. The Rays are geared up to challenge the Blue Jays, but actually help the future as well.
What say you? and what would you do?
- Rays in the market for a catcher with team control
- Rays listening on Nathan Karns