Dave Cameron made a list of his best transactions of the 2016 offseason over at Fangraphs. The transactions were graded by value added and the impact it had on the team's odds of making the playoffs.
Somehow, Cameron did not include a single transaction made by the Tampa Bay Rays this offseason in his top 10. He only included the two big ones as honorable mentions: The Nate Karns trade to the Mariners, and the swap for Corey Dickerson.
SS Brad Miller, 1B/DH Logan Morrison and reliever Danny Farquhar were acquired almost immediately to begin the offseason on November 5th, 2015 at the expendable cost of starter Nate Karns, reliever C.J. Reifenhauser and outfield prospect Boog Powell.
All pieces acquired in that trade are expected to contribute to the big league club in 2016, with Brad Miller almost certainly providing the most value as the starting shortstop and possibly leading off for the Rays. This trade saw the team deal from their deep starting rotation to acquire pieces that can contribute immediately, a sure sign that they want to make the playoffs and win now.
OF Corey Dickerson's huge bat and prospect 3B Kevin Padlo came to the Rays on January 28th in exchange for closer Jake McGee and prospect RHP German Marquez. Maybe Dave sees the trade as a wash, but the team needed offense vs RHP and that's what they got in Dickerson. If the other bullpen pieces step up and cover down for the loss of an elite reliever, the outweighing contribution on offense looks like a very big upgrade.
Not mentioned at all is the acquisition of (arguably) our starting catcher in Hank Conger for merely cash (money, not Kevin), another noteworthy transaction that should play a big role in the Rays' quest for a playoff seed. Maybe the transaction was small enough to go unnoticed, but the value added over last year's situation at catcher could be huge.
Read the piece by Cameron and see if you agree. Does any Rays acquisition push the team significantly closer to the playoffs?