Shocking late night trade:
The deal sending Tommy Pham from the Tampa Bay Rays to the San Diego Padres is done, sources tell ESPN. Outfielder Hunter Renfroe and middle-infield prospect Xavier Edwards head back to the Rays. Padres will get another minor leaguer.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 6, 2019
#Rays-#Padres deal is not finalized, but is very likely to be completed and announced on Friday. #Rays will get Renfroe, Edwards (who is a big part of the deal) and perhaps another minor-leaguer; Pham and a prospect whose name has not yet come out to San Diego.— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) December 6, 2019
The Rays minor-leaguer in the agreed-upon Tommy Pham trade is middle infielder Jake Cronenworth, sources tell The Athletic. Cronenworth, 25, hit .334/.429/.520 last season at Triple A. He also pitched a little. Interesting two-way prospect.— Dennis Lin (@dennistlin) December 6, 2019
This trade may feel like an easy one to claim “Rays cheap” as a kneejerk reaction, and salary almost certainly played a factor. However, like most Rays moves, just caulking it up to cheap or tanking or selling or anything that involves a clean and easy answer is often times a take that will age like milk.
Quick analysis of the Padres-Rays deal, which @Ken_Rosenthal said was close:— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 6, 2019
- Tommy Pham turns 32 in March and has less control but is high-OBP guy, which SD needs
- Hunter Renfroe has power, excellent OF D but a low OBP
- Evaluators adore Xavier Edwards, a dynamic 2B prospect
Edwards ranks 84th overall on Fan Graphs list. Renfroe has always been a big raw power guy, but last year he opened some eyes with the glove earning +22 DRS and 6 Outs Above Average (20th in MLB, 1 behind Mookie Betts) to go with his already very strong outfield arm.
Players with a 30 home run / 20 DRS season since 2010:— Jeremy Frank (@MLBRandomStats) December 6, 2019
Evan Longoria 2011
Mookie Betts 2016
Nolan Arenado 2016
Nolan Arenado 2017
Mookie Betts 2018
Cody Bellinger 2019
Hunter Renfroe 2019
Frankly this is a tough trade to evaluate fairly or with a clear head in the aftermath. Tommy Pham wasn’t just a great player, but he an absolute beating heart of the Rays and an intense leader. I respect the hell out of that man, and I’m gonna miss him.
There is a long way to go the rest of this offseason, before final 26 men that break camp for Opening Day, and all the twists and turns that come with it will play a pretty major factor in how this trade will be perceived in Rays history.
Erik Neander has a good poker face, as this was an interview hours before the big Pham trade:
#Rays pre-winter meetings media session today. Neander said they’ll look to add to catching depth, otherwise seek to improve roster but needs are not clear as they like overall group. Could have some payroll flexibility in right situation. pic.twitter.com/zozdkvDY2n— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) December 5, 2019
Picking a Winter Meetings move for all 30 teams - Jim Bowden, The Athletic ($): The year is 2030 and another rumor has surfaced linking the Rays to Edwin Encarnación on a 1 year deal.
Get ready in Portland and Nashville; the Rays are free agents in 2028 - John Romano, Tampa Bay Times ($): Strap in and get ready for some histrionics!
Twin Cities resident Nick Anderson thriving with Tampa Bay Rays - ABC 5 Minneapolis: The surprise dominant reliever who got more unbeatable in the second half with the Rays is enjoying his offseason.
Jesús Aguilar on joining the Marlins: “This is an opportunity every player wants” - Juan Páez, Fish Stripes: It didn’t quite work out in Tampa Bay, but Aguilar has a good opportunity still in the Sunshine state to rebound to his former All Star form.
Around the League
Scar Tissue - Bobby Jenks, The Players Tribune: Absolutely wild, must read from the former reliever, in his own words.