We are just over one month removed from an extremely active trade deadline in which some of the game’s top players were dealt for some of the largest prospect hauls in trading history.
The Rays, however, weren’t a part of any of those massive deals. Instead, they did things the Rays way, acquiring the less than heralded players, dealing from areas of depth, and quietly improving the team.
Since the August 2nd trading deadline, the Rays are tied with the Seattle Mariners for the second best record in the American League with their acquisitions serving as catalyst for the team’s recent surge.
The Marquee Deals
Jose Siri, David Peralta
The Rays were plenty active in talks leading up to the deadline, mentioned in connection with some of the top names available such as Wilson Contreras and Juan Soto.
However, when it was all said and done, the Rays came away with a pair of outfielders who hadn’t garnered much media attention, if any at all.
First, the Rays acquired David Peralta from the Arizona Diamondbacks for minor league catcher, Christian Cerda.
Peralta is in the final year of his contract with Arizona, having spent the previous nine seasons of his big league career as a member of the Diamondbacks. The Rays were looking to him add some much needed bop to their lineup as he was hitting .248/.316/460 with 12 HR at the time of the deal.
But, baseball is going to baseball.
Peralta has been excellent for the Rays offensively and has even posted a higher wRC+ with Tampa Bay than with Arizona (116 to 110), however, he still hasn’t connected for a homerun yet; although (he was robbed of a homerun during a game with Milwaukee).
Overall since joining Tampa Bay, Peralta is hitting .284/.340/.400 over 103 plate appearances.
The other outfielder picked up by the Rays is the energetic firebolt Jose Siri, who has been tremendous in all facets of the game elite defender; superhero speed on the base paths, and a surprising catalyst at the plate.
Siri was picked up in a deal that sent a couple of pitching prospects to the Houston Astros and his addition to the roster meant the subtraction of Brett Phillips. Although losing Phillips was crushing to morale, Siri has been a boon to the team’s performance. Overall since the trade, Siri has hit .263/.314/.400 with 2 HR, registering a 110 wRC+ to go along with 5 stolen bases over 31 games.
In the weeks leading up to the deadline, Peter Bendix and the rest of the Rays front office were very active in attempting to stitch together a 26-man roster that been battered by injuries,losing their starting centerfielder, catcher, and shortstop.
To fill the gaps, the Rays signed free agent outfielder Roman Quinn, picked up infielder Yu Chang from the waiver wire, and Christian Bethancourt in a trade.
All three players have been excellent for the Rays.
Although Quinn is currently on the Injured List, he provided the Rays with a spark while he was on the active roster, registering a 120 wRC+ over 47 plate appearances. Chang meanwhile has played all over the infield and has been a solid replacement while the injured Rays work their way back.
Bethancourt has been a superb defender behind the plate and has provided some much needed power for the offense, belting 6 HR and has a .436 SLG% which is among the highest on the roster.
The Rays trade deadline activity may not have led any baseball news broadcasts, but their acquisitions have been key to keeping this injured team in the win column.