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Analysis

Examining Rays Trade Pieces Before Winter Meetings

photo: Will Vragovic/Tampa Bay Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays and the other 29 teams will all be heading to baseball’s Winter Meetings in Nashville, which officially begin Monday, and the focus won’t be on if the Rays make a trade at the meetings but instead how many pieces could be moved to free up space for other potential additions.  Let’s take a look at the three players most fans and pundits believe could be on the move as well as a couple of other names that I think could end up being dealt if the price is right.

(photo: Will Vragovic/Tampa Bay Rays)

RHP Tyler Glasnow

It’s no surprise that Glasnow’s name has been brought up almost since the morning after the Rays were eliminated in the Wild Card round by the Texas Rangers.  In fact, when it was announced that Glasnow had signed a two-year, $30 million contract after coming back from Tommy John surgery after the 2022 season, some who saw how the deal was structured ($5 million in 2023 followed by $25 million in 2024) believed it was a foregone conclusion that Glasnow would be in a different uniform for the final year.  But even at his current price tag, he is the same cap hit as Sonny Gray will be for the Cardinals and less than what the Yankees will be paying for Carlos Rodon.  I would expect any team that hopes to add Gray to their roster in free agency will now turn their attention to Glasnow.

Remaining contract: 1 year, $25 million

Possible suitors: Cubs, Giants, Cardinals, Phillies

photo: Will Vragovic/Tampa Bay Rays

OF Manuel Margot

Margot’s name has been mentioned by pundits because he’s currently a player without a position, as he’s currently behind Jose Siri, Josh Lowe, Randy Arozarena, and Luke Raley on the outfield depth chart, and at $10 million, should be a much larger piece than he is for what he’s being paid.  Margot is a great presence in the clubhouse, and after a slow start to his tenure in Tampa Bay, has been able to produce at around a league-average level.  But he played in just 99 games last year due to injury, and just 89 games in 2022.

Remaining contract: 1 year, $10 million, plus a $12 million option for 2025 with a $2 million buyout

Possible suitors: Blue Jays, Braves, Padres, Angels

photo: Will Vragovic/Tampa Bay Rays

OF Randy Arozarena

Arozarena may be the most marketable player the team has, especially with his prowess of coming up big in big situations, but the combination of the outfielder quickly approaching age 30 (he’ll turn 29 during Spring Training), his escalating contract costs (he’s expected to make $9 million in the second of his four years of arbitration), and his representation (Scott Boras) leads most to think that if the Rays don’t look to move him now, his time in Tampa Bay could be coming to a close soon.

Remaining contract: projected $9 million in 2024, plus two more years of arbitration.

Possible suitors: Cubs, Giants, Red Sox

photo: Will Vragovic/Tampa Bay Rays

3B Isaac Paredes

Paredes had a breakout season for the Rays in 2023, with a .250/.352/.435 slash line, 31 homers and 98 RBI, but he will have his first season of arbitration this year as a Super 2 player, and with the amount of depth the team has for corner infielders (Curtis Mead and Junior Caminero at third base, and Xavier Isaac coming at first base just for starters), the team could look to flip Paredes at what could be his high point for maximum return.

Remaining contract: projected $3.2 million in 2024, with three additional years of arbitration

Possible suitors: Phillies, Blue Jays, Astros

photo: Will Vragovic/Tampa Bay Rays

2B Brandon Lowe

Lowe has huge upside at the plate and is an above-average defender at second base, but like Margot has dealt with his fair share of injuries.  The 29-year-old is actually a more affordable bat than Margot (at just $8.75 million for 2024), and had two team option years so any potential match could possibly get multiple years of 40 homer/100 RBI production if he’s able to play a full season.

Remaining contract: $8.75 million guaranteed fir 2024, $10.5 million option/$1 million buyout in 2025, $11.5 milllion option/500,000 buyout

Possible suitors: Giants, Mariners, Nationals

Written By

Steve Carney is the founder and publisher of St. Pete Nine. One of the people most associated with baseball coverage in Tampa Bay, he spent 13 seasons covering the Rays for flagship radio station WDAE, first as producer of Rays Radio broadcasts, then as beat reporter beginning in 2011. He likes new analytics and aged bourbon, and is the owner of one of the ugliest knuckleballs ever witnessed by baseball scouts.

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