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MLB trade rumors: Finding a return for Alex Colome

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What could teams offer for the All-Star closer?

Tampa Bay Rays v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

ORLANDO — On Monday it was reported that the Rockies, Cardinals, Mets and Cubs have all shown interest in Rays closer Alex Colome.

With the reliever market going quickly, and arms like Brandon Morrow, Pat Neshak, and Luke Gregorson all getting at least two year deals between $11 million and $22 Million, Colome seems like a great deal for a team looking for a cheap, controllable relief arm.

What could these teams offer? Let’s first look at what are the Rays looking for.

Rays Needs

Although the bullpen is a seemingly constant need for the Rays, we know that manager Kevin Cash will be relying on their young arms in Triple-A, as well as veterans signed through free agency to make up most of their bullpen. Rays will probably not be looking for a potential relief arm in return for their closer.

The Rays are in need of a right-handed power bat, but I’m not sure if the position matters. Dickerson/Keirmaier/Souza is serviceable in the outfield, although you would like to have a better option come off the bench to pair with Dickerson. As Cash mentioned earlier on Monday, the ability to have a player fill the utility role could be beneficial to the Rays.

Rockies Offer

Before the 2016 season, the Rays traded Jake McGee and German Marquez for Corey Dickerson and Kevin Padlo. The Rays could very well pull another similar trade now, although the Rockies aren’t actively shopping their outfielders.

The other snag in a potential trade is most of the Rockies prized prospects are left-handed hitters, which the Rays have plenty of. The highest right-handed power bat the Rockies have is shortstop/second baseman Brendan Rodgers, which although possible, is highly unlikely unless the Rockies were receiving a significant piece in return.

According to MLB.com, the next available right-handed bat is third baseman Colton Welker who hit an impressive .350/.401/.500 in 254 at bats at Single-A Asheville. He would be an impressive add, but would also be a 2016 repeat in Padlo, which I’m not sure if the Rays need.

Unless the Rays really want one of the Rockies left handed hitting prospects in Dahl, Tapia or McMahon, I’m not sure if a trade could be worked out.

If the Rockies want Colome, they would have to give up an uncomfortable price in Rodgers, or get creative.

Mets Offer

The Mets appear to be in the same boat as the Rockies. Unless they are willing to give up their top prospect in Amed Rosario, then I don’t see a fit. They have a left-handed power first baseman, and a plethora of shortstop prospects, which the Rays are good on.

Looking at the Major League roster there isn’t much there either, unless the Mets look to deal from an area of need such as the bullpen or outfield.

Cubs Offer

Cubs make a lot of sense even though they have already shored up their bullpen by adding Brandon Morrow, they could look to add more strength, and are actively looking to address their issues on the mound.

Historically the Rays have looked to add a MLB ready piece, and the obvious solution is Kyle Schwarber for Colome straight up, right? Especially comparing this potential trade to the McGee/Dickerson trade the Rays pulled with the Rockies.

Schwarber comes with five years of control, and isn’t set to go through arbitration until 2019 and is controllable through 2022. Its a steep ask on the Rays part, but with relief pitching at a premium this offseason and Schwarber running out of room to play on an NL team, this might be the perfect fit. You could add in a lower prospect such as Micheal Mercado or Brock Burke to sweeten the deal. Even Bleed Cubbie Blue thinks they should ship Schwarber to the Rays.

I think the Rays would love to have second baseman/outfielder Ian Happ as well, but the price might be higher than the Rays’ liking, and possibly higher than Schwarber. Understandably so, as Happ slashed a solid .253/.328/.514 in 413 plate appearances for his first year as a Cub. If the Rays really want Happ they could throw in Yonny Chirinos as well to help the Cubs figure out their rotation for 2018.

Cardinals Offer

To me, this one makes the most sense. The St. Louis Cardinals have a plethora of right-handed power bats, and they need bullpen help. I think the Rays could ask for one of either Carson Kelly or Tyler O’Neill straight up and it would be a fair price to pay.

Kelly is ranked as the Cardinals number two prospect according to MLB.com, and posted a .283/.375/.459 in Triple-A last year. The star catching prospect would be a perfect fit to learn from Wilson Ramos, as well as grow with the youth movement coming through the Rays system.

Tyler O’Neill was drafted by Seattle for his raw power and then traded to the Cardinals as part of the Marco Gonzales trade. After tweaking his swing, O’Neill has become a legit power prospect in the Cardinals system, and one that shows and advanced adjustment ability as he makes his way through the minors.

If the Cardinals don’t want to do that, Piscotty or Grichuk plus a lottery ticket like Alvaro Seijas or Jordan Hicks could get the deal done.

Overall I think the Cardinals make too much sense to get a deal done. They have a surplus and are known to be looking for pitching and bullpen help.

What do you think? Which team should the Rays trade Colome to?

Poll

Where should the Rays trade Colome?

This poll is closed

  • 18%
    Chicago Cubs
    (61 votes)
  • 0%
    New York Mets
    (3 votes)
  • 4%
    Colorado Rockies
    (14 votes)
  • 73%
    St. Louis Cardinals
    (243 votes)
  • 2%
    Other (Leave your answer in the comments)
    (8 votes)
329 votes total Vote Now