Rays Seeking Young Catcher, Pitching

The Rays are currently in a three-way tie for one of the two AL Wild Card spots and they could be both buyers and sellers at the trade deadline. They have the young starting pitching to offer, and Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter) that they seek a young catcher and pitching, presumably relievers.

Young, cheap, and effective hurlers like Alex Cobb, Jeremy Hellickson, and Chris Archer could serve as prime trade bait, and earlier this week we heard that Tampa Bay may be willing to trade James Shields. A B.J. Upton for Mike Morse deal has been rumored as well. The team reportedly intends to determine their deadline plan of attack within the next week or so.

Tampa's catchers have hit just .194/.266/.279 this season, the second lowest OPS at the position in the game. Their bullpen owns a solid 3.37 ERA, but take away All-Star closer Fernando Rodney and it's just 3.85. Every team is looking for relief depth at the deadline and the Rays are no different.

Full Story | 97 Comments | Categories: Tampa Bay Rays

97 Responses to Rays Seeking Young Catcher, Pitching Leave a Reply

  1. Natsfan89 3 years ago

    I don’t see how a BJ Upton for Morse deal helps the Nationals. Harper is capable of playing CF the rest of the year and they can just sign Upton this offseason if they want him so bad. Then Morse can slide to first base, where he should be playing anyway, next season after they let LaRoche walk.

    • ImperialStout 3 years ago

      Nailed it.

    • J Walls625 3 years ago

      You are right, but man I’m still hoping the Rays pull off that deal. If Morse can put up numbers close to last year, it would be a huge boost this year and next year.

      • GrayhawkAZ 3 years ago

        4 home runs out of 160+ PAs and slugging .413.. sorry those numbers are not impressive

        • J Walls625 3 years ago

          On the Rays lineup, that would help. BJ is seemingly gone after the season. With the Rays most likely not getting draft compensation for him , might as well try and trade and get something for him. Morse sounds pretty good to me.Rays need offense and Morse has shown he can hit. He would also fill the potential 1B or DH spot the Rays may have after this season.

          • And could finally part ways with that guaranteed out currently playing first base, Senor Strikeout.

    • GrayhawkAZ 3 years ago

      I was going to say the Rays would need more.. Upton is a shoe in for a 3 WAR every year.. Morse has never produced that number and is older and is coming off surgery.. Sorry I just don’t see either doing this

  2. Wish the Cardinals could get Hellickson. Definitely do not have any young quality catching though.

    • Grayson Gallegos 3 years ago

      The do have Brian Anderson who is a better hitter than he is a catcher. He is stuck behind Molina & the Cruz.

      • He isn’t much of a hitter nowadays either. His value has severely dropped.

  3. wrestlingcritic 3 years ago

    Tigers should send Rob Brantly and if theyre looking for relievers, maybe Phil Coke or someone like that plus another low level prospect for Hellickson

    • J Walls625 3 years ago

      If the Tigers get Hellickon or Shields, they better give a package aroun Castellenos back.

    • Dylan 3 years ago

      Are you suggesting that the AL ROTY is worth a couple of relievers? Hellickson would draw A LOT more than that.

      • jwsox 3 years ago

        Pretty sure trout has roty all but locked up maybe even MVP

        • J Walls625 3 years ago

          Hellickson won ROY last year smart one.

        • Dylan 3 years ago

          I agree, but I wasn’t talking about this year. Hellboy is not a rookie anymore.

          • J Walls625 3 years ago

            I was responding to jwsox, not you bro. Sorry for the mix up.

  4. MaineSox 3 years ago

    Too bad the Red Sox and Rays are in the same division and competing against each other for the same wild card spot because I think they could match up pretty well in a trade.

    • Cards could act as middleman, send Miller to Red Sox for Lavarnway then send him and Adams to Rays for Hellickson. Sox end with top 20 pitching prospect, Rays get young offensive catcher and power hitting young 1st baseman. Cards get TOR pitcher in Hellickson.

      • Dynasty22 3 years ago

        So essentially Adams and Lavarnway for Hellickson? That won’t work.

        • notsureifsrs 3 years ago

          that trade obviously isn’t going to happen, but hellickson doesn’t have a ton of value right now

        • What if Cards substituted Craig for Adams and added a young power arm such as Jenkins, would Rays add Lee to package?

          • Dynasty22 3 years ago

            The Rays need a SS so I don’t think that would work either.

  5. Encarnacion's Parrot 3 years ago

    Jays have an abundance of catching, Rays have an abundance of pitching. It would be fun to see Anthopoulos and Friedman ninja it out.

    Shame d’Arnaud got injured.

    • Rex_Chestington 3 years ago

      If they weren’t division rivals I could see JPA going to TB in a deal for pitching. Losing Bautista, Lawrie and all those pitchers to injury effectively ends their pursuit of a wild card spot. Have Gomes come up and split time with Mathis at C and give d’Arnaud the job in the spring. No chance JPA ends up with another AL east team though.

      The A’s on the other hand could use an upgrade at both C and SS for their wild card push. The A’s also have a surplus of pitching.

    • The Jays not only have catching, but great catching. Even as division rivals, I’d love to see this happen.

  6. Frank Tangorra 3 years ago

    I don’t think BJ Upton is a great player as Tampa hypes him up to be. With Harper I don’t see this happening. I can see the Mets trying to go for Upton. A package of Flores, Familia and a lower prospect.

    • Tko11 3 years ago

      Too much…Bj Upton is seriously overrated

    • HenryLear 3 years ago

      Nobody here in Tampa hypes him up. Its national media. His stats are so inflated its not even funny. Say he averages 20 HRs in a season, 15 of them are in meaningless situations. He isnt a patient hitter, though he does have good range and a decent arm.

      • That is far from the truth. Watch the Rays playoff series in 2008 against the White Sox. BJ Upton hit a homerun in like every freaking game.

        • diesel2410 3 years ago

          4 years ago. That’s the best you got?

        • HenryLear 3 years ago

          Actually he hit more against BOS but whatever. Ill say it again, he can hit HRs with the best of them when you’re down 8-2 in the bottom of the 9th with no one on base

        • Tko11 3 years ago

          That was the best stretch of his career and honestly after he killed the Sox like he did in that series, I did have high expectations for him and thought he would amount to much more than he has since then. He’s been a complete disappointment ever since. But yea as Diesel said that’s 4 years ago, doesn’t mean anything at this point because that is not the player he has shown he is. Hes lucky he has his speed.

  7. Heeector 3 years ago

    White Sox get:

    SP James Shields

    Rays get:

    SP Gavin Floyd
    C Tyler Flowers

    • you mean the gavin floyd that’s on the DL indefinitely with forearm tendonitis, that gavin floyd? you’re way too generous….

      • Mike Query 3 years ago

        and tyler flowers, the catcher hitting .156 and striking out in 50% of his at bats haha

  8. bubba91 3 years ago

    Giants should make a splash and get hellickson and zobrist (wishful thinking) for tommy joseph,heath hembree and a mix of lower level prospects

    • J Walls625 3 years ago

      I doubt the Rays take that.The Rays value both those guys a ton.I doubt they trade Zobrist because Maddon loves him, and WAR says he is a very good player, and in a trade for either Hellickson or Shields, the package better include Belt, who seemingly has no position with the Giants,

    • Mike Query 3 years ago

      Giants dont need another pitcher

    • Dylan 3 years ago

      I think you spelled Gary Brown wrong…

      • Snoochies8 3 years ago

        And here I was thinking he spelled Brandon Belt wrong…

    • HenryLear 3 years ago

      Zobrist isnt going anywhere.

    • Zobrist AND Hellickson!?!?!?! Hell no

    • Snoochies8 3 years ago

      Any package for a player under control for as long as Hellickson and as good as Hellickson has to start with Brandon Belt or Hector Sanchez…

  9. Snoochies8 3 years ago

    At this point, I wish I could say Kurt Suzuki, but Rays probably wouldn’t be interested, except for the fact that he’s under control for a couple more years.

  10. TophersReds 3 years ago

    Probably could have had the Mat Latos deal in the offseason. We (fans) were clamoring for Shields, but obviously the sides didn’t meet neutral ground. In hindsight, I’m happy with Latos since he is much cheaper.

  11. FacelessGeneralManager 3 years ago

    Nats have young catchers. And we do need a strasburg replacer

  12. Justin Timberpond 3 years ago

    Martin Maldonado from the Brewers….? Lucroy on his way back

  13. drpantsington 3 years ago

    Probably shouldn’t have traded Jaso, huh.

    • diesel2410 3 years ago

      Jaso is a scrub who’s having a flukey year with the M’s

      • GrayhawkAZ 3 years ago

        He can’t catch.. No I do not think the Rays care too much

        • DewayneStats 3 years ago

          Exactly. His mechanics behind the plate were always a mess. Then again, Molina’s constant passed balls haven’t been that appealing either

  14. Cubs: manny corpas (1.69 era, 1.06 WHIP) or shawn camp (2.81 era, 1.08 WHIP) + Geo Soto for Archer.

    • KB 3 years ago

      shawn camp pitched in the AL east the last few seasons, he doesn’t have it to pitch there anymore.

    • HenryLear 3 years ago

      I have to think the article’s title is incorrect. The Rays are not seeking pitching.

      • leachim2 3 years ago

        They might be seeking pitching, but I doubt that they’re desperate enough to not laugh and hang up if offered that trade.

        • HenryLear 3 years ago

          Right. I dont think Theo would disrespect Friedman by offering that

  15. ElasticSyntax 3 years ago

    Think they want Jaso back from Seattle?

  16. How about Hellickson to the Braves? They are looking for pitching, and have the pieces the Rays are looking for. Behtancourt is a nice catching prospect who is great defensively, and a great arm. He is a little raw in the hitting department, but still very young for his level of play. Braves also have some pitching prospects to add to the deal.

  17. john12121212 3 years ago


  18. Sd_brain 3 years ago

    Rays can get Nick Hundley relatively cheap and a move out of petco could benefit his hitting ability, although he’d be just a stop-gap and depending on how much salary the padres are willing to eat would define what we’d receive.

    • Thomas Carrano 3 years ago

      as a padre fan would like to see Hundley traded rather then him in AAA making alot of money

      • Brian Stoops 3 years ago

        I’ve always liked him, and I’ve always wanted to see him do well, especially after his contact this offseason. It would be nice to see how he would react to a more drastic change in scenery than just being shipped to Tucson. Ever since he went down, I’ve been envisioning him in different uniforms, and there’s nowhere I see him as a better fit (and a good gamble) than Tampa.

  19. Angels send Hank Conger to TB for…someone. Scioscia will never play Hank so I hope they send him somewhere that he can play.

    • cookmeister 3 years ago

      was thinking similar thing. Conger is still pretty young, and actually looked better this year in his short stint. Conger + Cron +prospect for Shields maybe?

      • Sd_brain 3 years ago

        add bourjos minus the prospect

      • J Walls625 3 years ago

        I would take that. I wanted Cron last year, but the Angels snatched him up,and he would give them a close to MLB power bat. I also have liked COnger for a quite a few years now and would take him.

      • Looking at Shield’s contract, he has a 9 million team option in 2013 and a 12 million option for 2014. His arm has racked up quite a lot of innings over his career so I’m not sure if he’s worth two major leaguers in Bourjos + Conger for the next 2.5 years, but he’s worth this asking price as opposed to Hamels or Greinke.

        Conger is still paid league minimum until 2014 and earliest FA in 2017.

        Bourjos on the other hand, is still making a little above league minimum (500k) and not arb eligible until 2014 and earliest FA in 2017.

        I’d say if Tampa throws in a controllable reliever, you can do a two for two here.

  20. Tim 3 years ago

    Tigers get: James Shields
    Rays get: Rob Brantley
    Andy Oliver
    Bruce Rondon

    • J Walls625 3 years ago

      If Rays trade Shields or Hellickson to Tigers, they better get a package around Castellenos back.

      • Tim 3 years ago

        I don’t understand just to have him blocked at third base yet again??

        • J Walls625 3 years ago

          The Rays would find him a spot. His bat is to good. The Rays would probably try him the OF or 1B, even if his power isn’t there yet. UNlikely this deal happens, but if it did, the Rays would Castellenos a spot.

      • EightMileCats 3 years ago

        Then I’d rather not have either of them

  21. chicothekid 3 years ago

    I was hoping the Mets would quit these delusions of buying at the deadline and sell off a few pieces to any buyers out there. If the Rays would pay for Thole, they should take a long hard look at that. Catching is hard to find, but Thole isn’t exactly Molina behind the plate and is not going to get us to the promised land. If we can trade him to improve the farm, I think they are making a big mistake by not doing it while the time is ripe, if it’s ripe.

  22. Daniel Han 3 years ago

    Take a cubs catcher we have too many

  23. longoria and zobrist and matt moore for bruce chen brayan pena and yuniesky bethancort

    • popular_mechanics_for_pitchers 3 years ago

      That just got reported as finalized!

    • HenryLear 3 years ago

      Are you secretly Andrew Friedman? YOU KNEW THIS WAS GOING DOWN! HOW I ASK?!

  24. Chris Vinnit 3 years ago

    Pirates should offer them Tony Sanchez for Hellickson. The Barajas/McHenry platoon has been great for us and should be kept together next year. Instead of burying Sanchez in the minors until 2014, send him to Tampa for a legit #2/3 starter.

  25. Daniel1216 3 years ago

    How about marlins send JT Realmuto, coghlan,and brad hand for upton and hellickson

  26. Devon Henry 3 years ago

    Hank Conger could be a good fit.

  27. Joseph Kraus 3 years ago

    How about Marte, Sanchez, and Dickerson from PIT, to TB for Shields?

  28. Martin Maldonado for HJL.

  29. Rays get: Christian Bethancourt C, Randall Delgado SP, Tyler Pastornicky SS, and Anthony Varvaro RP
    Braves get: Jeremy Hellickson
    Rays get two instant starters in Delgado and Pastornicky, a great defensive catcher with high upside in Bethancourt, and RP depth.

  30. Robert Eichhorn 3 years ago

    After Scott Kazmir, I’m not sure I want the Angels acquiring another Tampa Bay pitcher.

  31. HenryLear 3 years ago

    Never truly considered long term answer. He was just a throw-in in the Garza trade that they considered a “project”

  32. I agree this is an overpay given Shields’ contract duration.

  33. And he has a lot of innings on his arm since 2006, he’s been averaging 226 innings per year on his career according to bbref.

  34. cookmeister 3 years ago

    Ervin Santana is just as inconsistent, but Shield has a better contract and is the better pitcher IMO

  35. popular_mechanics_for_pitchers 3 years ago

    No way straight up

  36. Brantley Porcello Kenny Faulk and the new sandwich pick the tigers got today for Shields

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