The Tampa Bay Rays
The Chicago White Sox and Tampa Bay Rays could make a Craig Kimbrel trade.
The Tampa Bay Rays have a major league-leading eight prospects in Baseball America’s Top 100. Six are projected to be in the big leagues next season including one of the game’s most exciting prospects, Wander Franco. Don’t expect the Rays to trade him anytime soon but almost everyone on the roster is fair game.
The Rays traded Blake Snell a year after he was the ace of a team that won the American League Championship. They still managed to win 100 games and the division. There is no rhyme or reason to it but the Rays front office constantly trades stars only to replace them with someone from their seemingly bottomless farm system.
They have arguably the front office in baseball for how they manage to stay competitive year after year despite their limited payroll so Rick Hahn has to be weary making a deal with them. The Rays have a history of fleecing teams.
Kimbrel’s expensive salary may be a hindrance to getting a deal done with the Rays. But there is no denying the Rays could use him. They are on the precipice of getting over the hump but just need one or two pieces.
The Rays used a combination of Andrew Kittredge, Peter Fairbanks, and JP Feyereisen. Kimbrel is better than all three. Kittredge was excellent but only logged 8 saves. Fairbanks had a solid 3.59 ERA but isn’t really closer material.
Feyereisen had three saves but was only given four chances which means the Rays view him more as a setup man. By adding Kimbrel the Rays could have the best bullpen in the AL. Curtis Mead could be a name to monitor for the White Sox.
He is the 14th ranked prospect in the Rays system. His estimated arrival in the MLB isn’t until 2023 but he has hit everywhere he has been in the pros and the White Sox could expedite his process to fill their need at second base. However, he would probably have to start the season in the minors.
He exhibits promising bat control from the right side and doesn’t strike out much for this era of baseball with K rates around 15 percent. He is basically a discount Nick Madrigal. Seeing that the Rays already have Xavier Howard, who looks to be their future second baseman, Mead is expendable.