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Will the 2021 Rays make another rotation addition?

There are many free agents remaining

MLB: Spring Training-Pittsburgh Pirates at Philadelphia Phillies
Jake Arrieta
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Rays rotation might have enough above average competitors to build out a solid rotation, but it is not set in stone as we know the Rays are still on the lookout for pitching.

They were heavily in pursuit of both Jameson Taillion and Corey Kluber, before both players eventually found their way to the New York Yankees; Rays manager, Kevin Cash, even went as far as to drive to Kluber’s residence to try and convince the former two-time Cy Young to join the Rays, but Kluber ultimately ended up in pinstripes.

However, there are still plenty of players the Rays patented method of uncovering could turn up and that leads us to, Spencer Patton.

Patton, 33 later this month, is a former 24th round selection of the Kansas City Royals who selected him in the 2011 draft. He would later be dealt to the Texas Rangers, with whom he made his big league debut in 2014. he would pitch in parts of three seasons for the Rangers and than the Chicago Cubs in 2016.

Since last pitching in the big leagues, Patton traveled overseas to Japan and pitched in the NPB with the Yokohama Bay Stars. During his time in Japan, Patton would become one of the top strikeout relievers in the league and had the most appearances of any pitcher in Japan. Patton also has the coveted ability to pitch multiple innings at a time and could even go once through a lineup if need be, an ability which the Rays covet.

During a recent workout in which Patton was put on display for scouts of multiple teams, he impressed with one scot saying he threw “very well.” The Rays were among those teams in attendance for the workout, in which Patton displayed a third pitch (change-up) which he developed while in Japan.

Meanwhile, another pitcher at those very same workouts may have also caught the attention of the Rays as former NL Cy Young Jake Arrieta also showcased his abilities for the several teams in attendance. The Rays are also reportedly interesting in bringing the veteran hurler back to the American League East, after a few seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies in which his performance spiraled.

A reunion with former Rays ace Chris Archer is always possible as well, with Marc Topkin reporting on the team’s continued interest all offseason long. Or, there is the possibility they bring in a former nemesis, the 2008 World Series MVP, Cole Hamels, who is a free agent. Hamels pitched in just one game for the Atlanta Braves during the 2020 campaign, but had been consistently solid up to that point in his career.

There are some of the higher tier pitchers still available that may require a little extra in the bank to bring in with Jake Odorizzi and James Paxton still remaining unsigned; Paxton would be the cheaper of the two.

Spring training officially begins in just two weeks and there are still a plethora of Major League pitchers unsigned on the open market, so we should see an increase in activity over the coming days. However, the Rays may be comfortable with the pitchers they currently have in house and will NOT overpay in order to bring in another arm to compete for a spot in their rotation.

Who would you like to see the Rays target?

Here are the 2020-21 MLB Free Agents Starting Pitchers remaining, with a week until players begin to report for Spring Training.

  • Brett Anderson (33)
  • Tyler Anderson (31)
  • Chase Anderson (33)
  • Chris Archer (32)
  • Jake Arrieta (35)
  • Homer Bailey (35)
  • Trevor Bauer (30)
  • Trevor Cahill (33)
  • Mike Fiers (36)
  • Mike Foltynewicz (29)
  • Zack Godley (31)
  • Gio Gonzalez (35)
  • Cole Hamels (37)
  • Felix Hernandez (35)
  • Rich Hill (41)
  • Mike Leake (33)
  • Wade LeBlanc (36)
  • Tommy Milone (34)
  • Jake Odorizzi (31)
  • James Paxton (32)
  • Rick Porcello (32)
  • Tyson Ross (34)
  • Jeff Samardzija (36)
  • Anibal Sanchez (37)
  • Matt Shoemaker (34)
  • Julio Teheran (30)
  • Taijuan Walker (28)
  • Jordan Zimmermann (35)