The Tampa Bay Rays have been in search of a high leverage arm to add to their bullpen for most of the season and now with the injuries to Ryne Stanek and Jose Alvarado, as well as the recent bullpen blow ups along with the trade deadline looming just over a week away, that search has been intensified.
The most popular team that has been connected to the Rays bullpen search is the San Francisco Giants, who Jon Morosi reported have the Rays in talks regarding their bullpen.
The Rays have spoken with the Giants about their relief pitchers; even with San Francisco’s recent surge in the standings, the Giants could send a reliever to Tampa Bay in exchange for an infielder such as Joey Wendle or Michael Brosseau.
Morosi is perhaps ignoring that Joe Panik is under contract in San Francisco with those trade offers, but lets take a look.
Who do the Giants have?
Will Smith - LHP
2.55 ERA / 2.56 FIP / 39.1 K% / 6.8 BB% / .187 AVG / 42 1⁄3 IP
The most dependable arm in the Giants bullpen, Smith (pictured above) has long been a highly sought after reliever. Smith is a Major League veteran in his 7th season; Originally drafted by the Los Angeles Angels, Smith made his MLB debut with the Kansas City Royals following a trade in 2010. Trades later in his career would bring him to the Milwaukee Brewers and then to the San Francisco Giants.
What helps make Smith so alluring is his ability to carve through hitters regardless of which side of the plate they hit from. RHB have only registered a .249 wOBA against him this season, while LHB haven’t fared any better, putting up a .232 wOBA mark.
Smith is in the final year of his rookie contract and will likely get a decent sized contract this offseason.
Tony Watson - LHP
2.88 ERA / 4.25 FIP / 18.1 K% / 3.0 BB% / .247 AVG / 40 2⁄3 IP
The less impactful of the Giants southpaws, but Watson would still provide the Rays with another high leverage arm in the Rays bullpen if they were to complete the deal. Watson is in his 9th big league season; originally he as drafted by the then Florida Marlins in 2003, and then again in 2006 by the Baltimore Orioles. He finally drafted and signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2007, the team with whom he’d eventually make his debut.
Watson eventually made his way to the Giants as a free agent, after a brief stay with the Los Angeles Dodgers after the 2017 trade deadline.
Throughout his career, he has handled opposing hitters rather well, regardless of their handedness. However, in 2019, lefties have been a struggle for the southpaw with righties have been a piece of cake.
Watson is in the second year of a potential three year contract, as he has a $2.5M player option for the 2020 season.
Sam Dyson - RHP
2.57 ERA / 2.71 FIP / 24.9 K% / 3.7 BB% / .212 AVG / 49 IP
Another dominant weapon that the Giants have in their bullpen, Sam Dyson has been well traveled over his eight year Major League career. Another player that was draft thrice before finally signing, Dyson was taken by the Toronto Blue Jays in in 2010 and made his debut in 2012. He’d make his way to the Miami Marlins via waiver claim in 2013 and then dealt to the Texas Rangers in 2015. In 2017, the San Francisco Giants made a deal to acquire him, and he’s been putting up excellent numbers ever since.
His calling card is a fantastic ability to get right-handed hitters out, holding them to a .224 wOBA which is the 14th lowest among all qualified relievers in baseball.
Dyson will be eligible for arbitration for the fourth time this offseason.
The San Francisco Giants may be shy to part with any of their trio of domination in the bullpen, given their recent surge in the standings. Entering play tonight, the Giants sit just two games back of the second Wild Card in the National League, with three teams separating them from the possible postseason position.
Nevertheless, San Francisco is highly rumored for trade deadline pieces this year, hinting that the organization that is in its first season with a new front office is not afraid to build something new on the field as well.