Submitted by: kurteger
March 18, 2023
Rays hang up the phone without even responding to this proposal.
Yeah because they’d rather pay a boatload for an injured starting pitcher, a backup infielder who could be replaced by Brujan, a defensively challenged bat, and hope for Taj Bradley to reach his potential over getting a clear #2 who is from an hour or so away from Tampa and would be a good bet to sign long-term on a team friendly deal with deep ties in Florida. While you think you know your front office, remember that without an added starter, your offense can’t carry the rotation through bad starts, so you might as well plan for 2024 and beyond. You guys barely got in the playoffs last year and your team is probably worse this year, especially with the injury to Glasnow and his potential to keep getting injured, he’s simply not reliable and there is nothing to indicate the other starters won’t regress. Peguero is a nice prospect with the pedigree to supersede Walls’ value. Nichols is a very nice arm and with the Rays coaching him, he could become a shutdown reliever or solid #3. If you talk to me about potential, I along with your whole front office will laugh in your face. There is literally a list of 5-10 plus arms in the last few years that were top 100 prospects like Bradley and were traded or never reached 1/10 of their potential. Honeywell, Liberatore, McKay, etc. Others have stumbled, some never even reached their high draft status (Goss), and then there were those that ended up in the bullpen.
Bradley is a good prospect, but right now, he’s nowhere near elite. MLB may have him #20, but just in terms of pitching prospects, he’s on the smaller size in terms of build and his stuff is good, but unpolished. I would put Kyle Harrison (#21), Andrew Painter (#24), Ricky Tiedemann(#33), Gavin Williams (#53), Ken Waldichuk (#67), Hunter Brown (#68), Ryan Pepiot (#74), Gavin Stone (#77), Tanner Bibee (#98), Wilmer Flores (#99), and Bryce Miller (unrated), all ahead of Tay Bradley both in terms of stuff and results entering 2023. That’s 11 pitchers I would put in front of him and I’m not sure how many hitters would also be more valuable, but without looking, I know that I would take C Harry Ford over Taj Bradley, especially with his WBC performance. There would be others. The Rays need 5 years of a #2, much more than a position locked hitter, a glove first bench player, and a prospect who might give you 150 innings and at his peak would be a smaller, less durable version of the guy you are getting in Logan Gilbert. Nichols may be the #17 prospect for the Pirates, but their farm system is much deeper than the Rays’ farm system. Nichols possesses a plus-plus fastball, two average or better secondary pitches, has great size, and was also a competitive balance pick. Meaning he has more draft pedigree, more size, and just as good stuff. He’ll probably crack the Top 100 by next season or the majors, whichever comes first.
You sure spent a lot of time trying to convince me that every Rays player sucks and the Rays would be best served trading them all. In my experience, when someone spends this much time trying to convince me to do a deal, I know I should back away quickly with one hand on my wallet.
There are a bunch of problems with your trade proposal from the Rays perspective: (1) With the exception of the N.Cruz trade, the Rays never pay full value in their trades. They want diamonds in the rough. (2) The Rays would never ever ever pay more than $20-25MM trade cost for any one player. (3) Rays just extended Glas. They aren’t going to trade him before the Deadline (if then), (4) The Rays biggest problem is historically a lack of offense, so trading one of their best hitting prospects for more pitching just ain’t gonna happen. Manzardo looked awesome in ST this year and he had a great 2022. He’s the real deal. (5) Everyone and their sister may look at Walls and say he sucks, but the Rays see 19 DRS in 2022 and have to take a cold shower. I doubt they want to trade him. (6) Bradley is a top 20 overall prospect who held his own in AAA at age 21. Spare me your concerns with him. Rays love him, prospect evaluators love him. I doubt he’s going anywhere.
Gilbert is a good pitcher but the Rays think they have possibly their best rotation ever in McClanny, Glasnow, Springs, Rasmussen, Eflin, Bradley, Patino (whose stuff has returned to form after an injury filled 2022), Chirinos and Fleming. Pitching just isn’t a need for this team. Maybe they’ll feel differently at the Deadline, but the Rays are excited about this team right now.
Also – Your ignorance on the Rays shows. Yeah, the Rays struggled getting into the playoffs last year. That happens when a team loses 10-15 WIns because of injuries. The fact they did as well as they did is a testament to how good and deep a team they have. The 2023 team is as deep and healthy as I’ve ever seen. If you think they are going to be worse than last year, prepare for a big surprise. The Rays are stacked!!!
Lastly, please tell me you aren’t suggesting Nichols is a better prospect than Bradley.