The Tampa Bay Rays aren’t screwing around at this year’s trade deadline. Amidst a tight battle in the AL East (as per usual) the Rays traded for relief pitching on Monday, acquiring Jesse Crain for a player to be named later and cash considerations. With the Chicago White Sox looking to clean house as they rebuild and Crain currently on the DL, it was an easy decision for the southsiders to let go of their All-Star reliever.
Crain hasn’t toed the rubber since June 29th and his return is currently up in the air because of a shoulder injury. However, it’s likely only a matter of when he will return this year, not if he will return.
Tampa Bay already has one of the league’s top pitching staffs in place, so this move is one aimed at putting them over the top. Contending teams down the stretch can never have enough bullpen arms, so with a chance to land an All-Star, the Rays were wise to pull the trigger.
Overall, this is a low-risk move for Tampa that does have potential to pay off. Crain is in the final year of his current contract, so if things don’t pan out or they don’t want to pay for his services any longer, they don’t have to moving forward.
If the 32-year old reliever can return to his All-Star form for the Rays in August and September when it counts, this trade could very well pay for itself in the form a playoff berth in Tampa.
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