Of all the deals that were completed at the Major League Baseball trade deadline, the one completed between the Tampa Bay Rays and Chicago White Sox may be the most strange. The Rays received Jesse Crain, a stellar relief pitcher, from the White Sox in return for players to be named later. The deal wasn’t completed right from the start in part because Crain was injured at the time. The Rays knew of the injury but went through with the deal anyway.
As it turns out Crain had nothing at all to do with the end of the Rays’ season in 2013 because he was basically injured the entire time. Now the deal has been completed as the Rays sent players to the White Sox for a guy that they must be extremely high on coming back strong next season. They had to at least figure it was possible his year was ruined when they pressed go on the trade. Considering the year that Crain was having for the White Sox, it might still prove to be a great deal for the Rays.
If Crain can return to the form he showed before getting hurt in 2013, the Rays will have effectively completed a trade for an extremely effective relief pitcher while paying a lower price than he was worth. In other words, if the Rays had traded for Crain now after he had a complete season like he was having before the injury, it would have cost them a great deal more one would assume.
As it is now they will have the services of Crain out of the bullpen in 2014 and they really aren’t out much to have him. When you think about it, if the Rays staff was thinking that far in advance, it might be a dark horse for one of the best deals completed during the 2013 trade season. Who would have thought?