Opinion Pieces

Top Trade Target: Relief Pitcher

Alex Colome, Rays

For the second time in as many days, a Rays pitcher finds himself in the “Top Trade Targets” column (See: Top Trade Target: Starting Pitcher). While there are a number of relievers I could write about here,  I am going to go with Alex Colome because he has been elite the last two seasons and has a high likelihood of actually being traded.

The Rays have a history of capitalizing on the elevated trade value of relievers coming off good seasons. The Rays have a glut of late-inning reliever types coming up the ranks in their minor league system and do not expect to contend this season, which will make trading away Colome easier. 

Colome is averaging 43.5 saves the last two seasons, which shouldn’t mask the fact that his K/9 dropped from 11.28 to 7.83 last season, but it probably will as teams still inexplicably value saves. Not only did Colome experience a decline in strikeouts amidst a season which saw hitters strikeout at a record clip, he also issued more free passes than the year prior.

Other than these two figures, Colome was pretty much the same pitcher he was in 2016 when he had a 1.91 ERA. When we take a closer look at more granular data, we can chalk up to the increased ERA in 2018 to bad luck and sequencing. 

Colome’s value will never be higher a year after leading the American League in saves and the Rays should flip him to a reliever-needy team while they can still get a respectable package in return.

Suitors: Cardinals, Rangers, Mets

Possible Trade:
Cardinals Receive:
Alex Colome (RP)

Rays Receive:
Austin Gomber (LHP) (#14 prospect)
Kramer Robertson (SS) (#30 prospect)
International Bonus Pool Money

Even with the signing of Luke Gregerson and the acquisition of Dominic Leone in the Randal Grichuk trade, the red birds still lack a true closer. After revamping the middle of their order by trading for Marcell Ozuna, the glaring weakness on the Cardinals roster remains the back of their bullpen. If St. Louis expects to compete with the likes of Dodgers, Nationals, and Cubs, they will need to sure up their bullpen. As such, it makes sense that the Cardinals dip into a relatively deep farm system to acquire one of the best late-inning relief options on the trade market. 

Other Trade Candidates:
Kelvin Herrera (KC)
Zach Britton (BAL)
Raisel Iglesias (CIN)
Brad Ziegler (MIA)
Kyle Barraclough (MIA)
Arodys Vizcaino (ATL)
Shane Greene & Alex Wilson (DET)

 

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About Traven Tapson

I am a recent graduate from Claremont McKenna College pursuing a career in baseball operations for an MLB team. I am fascinated by the analytical side of baseball and use this blog as a platform to share my insights and knowledge with those who share my curiosities.
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