For baseball fans, it’ll be fascinating to follow the Tampa Bay Rays’ trade rumors in 2023. While the Rays were the best team in baseball early in the season, they might need some help to secure the AL East title.
Also, they will surely need some midseason reinforcements if they hope to win the World Series. So what are the Rays’ trade rumors in 2023 saying about Tampa’s trade deadline plans?
Rays Targets at the 2023 Trade Deadline
At first glance, the small-market Rays are not a candidate to pursue the top players on the market if it means adding a lot of money to their payroll. However, the latest Rays news and rumors indicate that some moves are possible.
Let’s take a little time to explore the Rays’ trade deadline targets and what players could potentially join one of the top contenders in the American League.
While Jo Adell doesn’t fit the profile of a player who’s typically traded in the middle of the season, he could end up being one of the Rays’ trade deadline targets. Adell was a top prospect with the Angels for a long time but hasn’t fulfilled his potential. But that makes him the type of player the Rays will acquire with the hope of turning his career around.
With this looking like a lost season for the Angels, they might be willing to trade Adell, who just went on the IL with an oblique strain. From Tampa’s perspective, they could use an athletic outfielder who adds a little more depth and who still has plenty of upside, especially since Adell doesn’t make much money just yet.
Thanks to injuries, the Rays don’t exactly have a full five-man rotation at the moment, especially after parting ways with Yonny Chirinos, who had been serving as a long man. That makes Michael Lorenzen a perfect fit for Tampa’s roster.
He’s pitched well enough as a starter to earn a spot on the All-Star Team this year. But Lorenzen has also pitched out of the bullpen in the past. That would give the Rays the flexibility to use him as a starter or as a bulk guy behind an opener.
Either way, he could help Tampa eat up a lot of innings late in the season. With Lorenzen set for free agency, the Tigers will surely be fielding calls for him with Tampa being a possible destination.
For the Rays, Lance Lynn is another option if they want to shore up the back end of their rotation. Granted, Lynn has a big salary and a club option for next season that needs to be bought out. He also hasn’t had a great year.
Nevertheless, he’s a proven commodity with experience pitching in a playoff race. His leadership in Tampa’s rotation could prove useful down the stretch, especially since the Rays are no longer running away with the AL East crown.
The White Sox could potentially have a fire sale this summer, and if that happens, Tim Anderson could be on Tampa’s radar. The Rays would acquire Anderson with the idea of moving him to second base.
Brandon Lowe and Taylor Walls haven’t exactly made a positive impact offensively this season. To be fair, Anderson has had a dreadful year himself, which is part of the reason why the White Sox could entertain a trade for him. Obviously, there is no guarantee that Anderson would turn things around if traded to Tampa. However, it could be worthwhile to take a flier on a player who is a former batting champ and was an all-star in each of the past two seasons.
Another member of the White Sox who could be of interest to Tampa is Yasmani Grandal. While the Rays have gotten a little bit of power from their catchers, Christian Bethancourt and Francisco Mejia both have an OPS well under .700 this year.
Grandal would at least be a marginal upgrade over that tandem. He’s also an experienced backstop with over 100 career postseason at-bats, so he brings more to Tampa than just a decent bat. While it could be risky to change catchers this late in the season, Grandal might be worth the risk.
There haven’t been many Rays trade rumors in 2023 linking Tampa to some of the top-flight starters who could be traded. However, Rich Hill could be a worthwhile option for the Rays if they want to solidify their rotation and add some experience.
The 43-year-old will surely add experience to the Tampa rotation. In addition to being a back-end starter, Hill could help to mentor some of the younger Rays. Keep in mind that Hill also has 13 career postseason appearances. Again, he brings more to the Rays than what he does between the lines, making him the kind of player Tampa should be trying to add at the deadline.
It’s rare for the Rays to be in need of bullpen help at the deadline, but that’s the case this season with Tampa’s bullpen average at best. That makes Scott Barlow a player the Rays should be targeting. He still has one more year of arbitration, so he won’t come cheap.
But that could make him more appealing for the Rays because he won’t just be a rental. More importantly, he’ll add a late-game reliever to Tampa’s bullpen, which is something the Rays need.
It remains to be seen if the Red Sox will be sellers, but if they are, the Rays should call their division rivals about Adam Duvall.
The 34-year-old is having one of the best seasons of his career. He’s also gained some playoff experience in recent years, so he checks a lot of boxes for the Rays. Duvall would certainly be an offensive upgrade over Jose Siri and Manuel Margot and is capable of playing multiple outfield positions. He may not move the needle a ton, but for the Rays, he’d be a meaningful addition.