Rays solidify roster at trade deadline
It was a nice change for the Rays at the trade deadline to be buyers and not sellers as the Rays try to get into the playoffs for the first time since 2013 when they lost in the AL division series.
Approaching the trade deadline, the Rays needed bullpen help, and a good right handed bat. They acquired both and even got a possible starter.
The Rays picked up first basemen Jesus Aguilar from Milwaukee in exchange for pitcher Jacob Faria. That is a cheap price to pay for a former all-star and whose rights the Rays will hold till 2023.
Aguilar who was an all star in 2018 when he hit 35 home runs and drove in 100 runs, has had a tough 2019 season hitting .225 with eight homers and driving in 25 runs. Aguilar had been splitting time at first base with Eric Thames in Milwaukee.
Aguilar has been hitting better the second half of the season hitting .298 with three homers and driving in eight runs in July.
Aguilar made his Rays debut Thursday night and went two for three.
One of the sidebars of this trade was the Rays sending Nate Lowe back to Durham to create some roster space. Lowe should be back soon and will be a big part of this team going forward.
The Rays also traded with their in state rival the Miami Marlins sending pitcher Ryne Stanek and one of their top prospects Jesus Sanchez to Miami in exchange for pitchers Nick Anderson and Trevor Richards.
Richards, a starter most of his career was switched to the bullpen in July and worked in three games in relief for the Marlins. Richards is 3-12 with a 4.50 ERA on the season for the worst team in the National league.
With Blake Snell out until at least September and Tyler Glasnow having set back after set back, the acquisition for Richards is a good one. Richards will pitch in long relief or take a spot in the rotation.
Nick Anderson is a 29 year old rookie who is 2-4 with a 3.92 ERA. Anderson is a strikeout machine as he has 69 strikeouts on the season in 43 innings.
According to Chaim Bloom the VP of baseball operations, the Rays will give Anderson the opportunity to close out at games and be the pitcher of record at the end of games.
The back end of the bullpen has been a struggle for the Rays all season and if Anderson can come in and solidify that position by being a shut down closer, that will help the Rays down the stretch as they try to get into the playoffs.
Anderson made his Rays debut on Thursday and hit 99 MPH on the radar gun while striking out two batters in one inning of work. The Rays will have Anderson under contract until 2025.
In a minor trade, the Rays sent pitcher Adam Kolarek to the Dodgers in exchange for outfielder Niko Hulsizer.
After seeping the series in Boston for the first time since 2010 the Rays will be off Friday and then play a two game set against the Marlins this weekend.
With Toronto, Seattle and San Diego as the next three series for the Rays, this a great opportunity for the Rays to pile up some wins and separate themselves from the competition in the wildcard race as the Rays should be favored in most games.
The Rays are currently 63-48 and trail the Yankees by 7.5 games in the AL East. With the series sweep, the Rays now lead Oakland by a half game in the race for the last wildcard spot.