The Shields Trade: How Does It Affect the Rays?

Yesterday I looked at the James Shields trade from the Royals’ perspective.

How does the trade impact the Rays for 2013?

Tom Jones of the Tampa Bay Times sees a parallel with a trade from nearly two years ago:

This is not unlike when the Rays dealt Matt Garza in 2011. Ultimately, they really didn’t miss Garza, who, in 2010, went 15–10 — the exact record that Shields had last season.

Price, Hellickson, Moore and some combination of [Jeff] Niemann, [Alex] Cobb, [Chris] Archer and Jake Odorizzi, also acquired in the trade with the Royals, will make up a rotation that remains among the best in the majors.

The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo sees a downside:

The problem is that prospects are not sure things, but the hope is that [Matt] Moore, {Jeremy] Hellickson, and Cobb, all under 25 years old, will continue to develop into significant starting pitchers. There’s no reason to believe they won’t.

Meanwhile, Steve Slowinski of DRaysBay shares his projection of the 2013 Rays’ roster. Here’s his view of the B. J. Upton–less lineup:

I’m filling in the Rays roster under the assumption that [Wil] Myers won’t be with the team for at least half the season. Even then, though, the Rays have filled most of the holes on their roster by acquiring Yunel Escobar and James Loney. They allow the Rays to slide Ben Zobrist into a dual platoon at second base and the outfield, or simply play him and Matt Joyce full-time-ish in the outfield if they desire. Either way, the Rays can fill most of their positions internally and only need to make one more major signing (DH).

The current roster above has a total projected salary of $52 million. If we assume the Rays can have another payroll like they did last season, that leaves them with about $10-11 million in room to sign additional players.

Slowinki also thinks the bullpen needs a little strengthening:

Sign some bullpen depth, as the losses of Burke Badenhop and Wade Davis have thinned out the ‘pen considerably. All of a sudden, there are lots of question marks there outside of [Fernando] Rodney, [Jake] McGee, and [Joel] Peralta.

More here and here and here.

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