Everyone wants to know who the Rays will acquire next ahead of the Trade Deadline. Since it’s an off day in Rays Land, let’s have a little fun with a silly exercise.
To know who the Rays will acquire, we need to assess the best aspects of the players we have in order to build a type, right?
There are plenty of great players on the Rays right now, ranging from Chris Archer to Corey Dickerson to Kevin Kiermaier. They each bring their own unique skills to the table and are great enough as a collective unit to land the Rays in the playoffs as of right now. However, what if we could mine the best qualities from each Ray to make one, Frankenstein-style ULTIMATE RAY.
Using the current Rays team, let’s take the preeminent parts from all across the roster to create our ULTIMATE RAYS ACQUISITION:
Hat - Alex Colome
Colome has a bit of the crooked Fernando Rodney cap going on whenever he comes on to take the mound for the Rays, and if we want our ULTIMATE RAY to have a bit of swag, Colome’s hat is the way to go.
Hair - Evan Longoria (circa 2011)
A full head of hair is very important on a baseball Frankenstein, and Longoria’s incredible flow from every season dating back about six years ago shows the man can grow some amazing locks. (We’re going to ignore the beach blonde mohawk from 2014 when making this decision.)
Brain - Chris Archer
Have you ever been watching a game in which Archer started and wondered to yourself man I wish I knew what was going on in that man’s head right now? I know I have. He’s the Beautiful Mind of the Rays, and his brain is simply too fascinating and impressive a specimen to choose someone else’s.
Eyes - Kevin Kiermaier
This may be the easiest decision from our ULTIMATE RAY. Not only does Kiermaier have eyes that make you feel like the first time you heard the Beatles, but he also has baseball-efficient eyes. He has been flirting with a double-digit walk rate each of the past two seasons, and he has learned to read a fly ball against the Tropicana roof. What can’t his eyes do?
Nose - Brad Miller
Full disclosure: I created the entire Rays Frankenstein and hadn’t found a spot for Miller, so I came back and slotted him in here. I suppose he is probably good at smelling?
Mouth - Steven Souza Jr.
Souza is one of the goofiest and funniest players in the sport today, and he’s a nice and well-spoken interviewee to boot. He also enjoys jawing at the catcher and umpire every at bat. Having him as the mouthpiece for our ULTIMATE RAY would be a great PR move.
Neck - Jake Odorizzi
He must have strong neck muscles from whipping around to watch all those home runs leave the yard… (Sorry, Jake. You totally don’t deserve this after your last outing, but seriously he’s allowed a homer in every real start this season.) Also, you get an honorable mention farther down the page.
Right arm - Jacob Faria
Faria may have had his first mini-failure as a Rays pitcher on Wednesday, but I’d still put him up against any other 24-year-old right arm in baseball right now. Faria’s right arm is still relatively fresh (as fresh as the arm of someone who throws a baseball for a living can be), and it clearly can do wonderful things to a baseball.
Left arm - Jose Alvarado
If you thought I was going Blake Snell, you’ve got another thing coming. Alvarado is in the minors right now, but he flashed enough stuff when he was at the big league level to be excited about this arm for a long time. He averaged nearly 99 mph on his fastball and clipped 100 mph numerous times. At just 22, this arm will last us a while.
Hands - Alex Cobb
You have to have giant hands to throw a splitter, and this is the king of the Split-Change. Yes, use of it landed him on the DL with Tommy John, but it’s nevertheless impressive that he still wields it, alongside a vintage curveball. The guy he taught the pitch to, Jake Odorizzi, get’s an honorable mention here.
Core - Wilson Ramos
Any catcher who can hit in addition to catch is clearly a physical specimen. Ramos may not be as cut as some of the other guys around baseball, but I’d put his “dad strength” (to mix metaphors) against anyone else in the league, and you know his balance is just off the charts.
Heart - Tim Beckham
It took the dude nine years to traverse his way from first overall pick to Rays regular, and if you don’t think that takes a heart the size of the Grinch at the end of “The Grinch,” then you are clearly not a medical doctor because that’s a scientific fact. Another honorable mention: I would also accept Erasmo “The Most Lovable Human Being of All Time” Ramirez - that’s his full name - as an answer here.
Groin - Corey Dickerson
Dickerson has never suffered a groin injury in his entire career, and that is the only reason he is listed here.
Legs - Mallex Smith
It’s honestly really close between Smith and Kiermaier, but since we already used Kiermaier’s beautiful peepers, Smith gets the edge here. I’d kill to see Smith and Kiermaier have a straight up race across the warning track, though.
Feet - Logan Morrison
This may seem like a strange selection at first, but Morrison is a 245-lb. man who is also the Rays leader in FanGraphs’ baserunning runs this season. To be able to pull off that crazy combo you have to be mighty quick on your feet.
So who will the Rays acquire at the trade deadline?
Just put all these pieces together, and see what you get. Now you know the Rays’ type.
Also, our new ULTIMATE RAY can represent the team at the (totally real) MLB Frankenstein summit to be held on the island of Dr. Moreau this offseason. The Yankees will simply be sending Aaron Judge in his entirety, while the Padres will be conspicuously absent.