The recent string of subtractions by the Rays — Jake Odorizzi, Corey Dickerson and Steven Souza have all been moved in the past five days — has fans of other clubs hoping for a full rebuild and, thus, trades of Chris Archer, Alex Colome and/or Kevin Kiermaier. However, Tampa Bay GM Erik Neander and senior vice president of baseball operations Chaim Bloom both strongly suggested that such moves are unlikely tonight in separate interviews. (Neander spoke with with Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, while Bloom’s chat with Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM can be heard on Twitter.) Tonight’s trade of Souza was a tough one for Rays faithful to absorb, given the amount of payroll that previous moves involving Evan Longoria, Odorizzi and Dickerson had already saved and given Souza’s modest $3.55MM salary. However, Bloom suggested that the trade of Souza had far less to do with cutting payroll than it did with the fact that the D-backs aggressively pursued Souza as a fallback after losing J.D. Martinez to the Red Sox. (Tampa Bay received MLB-ready left-hander Anthony Banda, second base prospect Nick Solak and a pair of players to be named later who, according to ESPN’s Keith Law, are “more than just throw-ins,” though their identities are not yet known.) “We feel this move, just the way the Diamondbacks came after Steven, that it was something that we couldn’t walk past,” said Bloom before going on to suggest that the Rays may now add some pieces. “And knowing that it does take a chunk out of our lineup, we still feel good about the talent we have on hand. … We want to spend the rest of the spring looking for ways we can support this group, knowing that we’re going to be young, we’re going to be interesting and we want to give this group as much of a chance as possible to succeed.” Neander had similar sentiments, calling the Souza trade a “pure baseball decision” based on a package “we felt we couldn’t pass up.” Bloom, in his interview, repeatedly speaks about supporting the group of core pieces already on the roster (e.g. Archer, Kiermaier) as well as the emerging wave of talent that is on the cusp of the Majors. (While Bloom doesn’t specify names, the Rays could very well see right-hander Brent Honeywell join a largely homegrown rotation this season and also have position players such as Willy Adames and Jake Bauers on the cusp of the Majors.) To that end, he flatly denied any plans of moving further core pieces.
Rays Unlikely To Further Tear Down Roster
MLB Trade Rumors | Feb 21