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Analysis

With Civale Gone, Which Piece May Be Next Moved?

photo: Tampa Bay Rays/Instagram

With the Tampa Bay Rays making the first trade of the deadline season, sending pitcher Aaron Civale to Milwaukee, it’s time to take a look at some of the other players you can expect the team to be fielding calls from other clubs asking about availability and what sort of return they may be looking for.  Here are three other players that Tampa Bay may be looking to unload to teams searching for the one piece to add.

photo: Tampa Bay Rays/Instagram

RHP Zach Eflin

Tampa Bay’s Opening Day starter this year has certainly righted the ship since a rough first month.  Since May 1, Eflin has gone 3-2 with a 3.81 ERA in nine starts, striking out 39 and walking only three total batters.  More importantly, the Rays have gone 7-2 in games Eflin has started in that stretch.  That doesn’t change the fact that the 30-year-old is due to make $18 million in 2025, the final year of his contract signed before the 2023 season.  With the uncertainty of whether the team is willing or can afford to keep him after next year, it may be in their best interest to gauge what other clubs may be willing to part with for him.

photo: Tampa Bay Rays/Instagram

OF Randy Arozarena

He’s arguably the most recognizable player on the team, and the Rays have one of their biggest year-long promotions tied to him, but there has to come a time when the club takes a hard look at moving on without Arozarena.

The 29-year-old outfielder is a super-2 player, meaning that he’ll receive a fourth year of salary arbitration.  Arozarena is making $8.1 million in his second year of arbitration, and with Scott Boras as his agent, it’s almost a certainty that the next long-term deal he signs is when he hits free agency after the 2026 season.  The haul that could come back to Tampa Bay in exchange for Arozarena might be too good for the front office to ignore.

photo: Tampa Bay Rays/Instagram

2B Brandon Lowe

Lowe is in the final year of his six-year, $24 million deal signed prior to the 2019 season, and while injuries have hampered his output throughout most of the deal, he still has the ability to put up 40 homers and 100 RBI in a season.  In addition, a team dealing for him also has the opportunity to exercise club options to retain him for the 2025 and 2026 campaigns at $10.5 and $11.5 million respectively.  It makes for a very tempting piece if a team is looking for a left-handed bat with a ton of pop.

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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