Rumors: Rays thinking big with discussions for Max Scherzer, Kris Bryant
With the MLB Trade Deadline talks heating up, one contender that is usually relatively quiet around this time that’s appears to be super active is the Tampa Bay Rays. The blueprint has been the same for the Rays for quite sometime and their way of doing success revolves around a very small payroll. This year might be different.
The Rays already went out and acquired power hitter Nelson Cruz from the Twins. Now, they may be aiming for more according to Jeff Passan of ESPN.
The reigning American League champion Rays, long recognized for their ability to win with minuscule payrolls, have had preliminary discussions about both Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer and Chicago Cubs third baseman/outfielder Kris Bryant, league sources told ESPN.
The possibility to add both Scherzer and Bryant when they have already acquired Cruz would certainly be a big change of pace for how the Rays usually go about things. Especially since Cruz, Bryant and Scherzer would all be rentals and hit free agency at the end of the season.
Perhaps getting as close as they did last year, all the way to the World Series before losing to the Dodgers, has them upping the aggressiveness at this deadline. If they do opt to really go all in, they have the farm system to acquire plenty of talent.
At the same time, Tampa Bay already has bucked its reputation by acquiring slugger Nelson Cruz, and the Rays’ farm system — even after the promotion of shortstop Wander Franco, the No. 1 prospect in baseball — is robust enough that they could theoretically include more talent if the Nationals were willing to pay down Scherzer’s salary.
Keep an eye on the Rays over the next couple of days.