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RUMOR: The 1 Rays player who could be on the move at MLB Trade Deadline

Rays, Ji-Man Choi, 2022 MLB trade deadline

The Tampa Bay Rays are in the thick of the American League wild card race. As a result, they are widely expected to look into picking up another bat or two at the 2022 MLB trade deadline to help them make a playoff push.

However, the Rays are always going to buck the trend and make moves many wouldn’t expect them to make. They may do just that at the upcoming deadline, as reports have begun to surface that they could look into trading their starting first baseman Ji-Man Choi, despite having a pressing need for more production out of their lineup.

“The Rays, following their usual practice, are another club considering all angles. For example, at a time when they need offense, they might actually trade a hitter such as first baseman Ji-Man Choi.” – Ken Rosenthal, The Athletic

Trading Choi would seem to be a bit of a counterintuitive move for the Rays. They need more production from their lineup, especially given that two of their best hitters in Wander Franco and Harold Ramirez are currently on the injured list. Why get rid of one of their most consistent bats when they need more production?

Choi has been OK for the Rays this season, hitting .257 with eight home runs and 46 RBIs. Tampa could be looking to take advantage of a market that is dry on first base help, and is seeing the top available target in Josh Bell of the Washington Nationals have a fairly high price. The Rays could deal Choi and use the return to help them bring more help back the other way.

The Rays willingness to trade Choi wasn’t a development many folks expected. But as the deadline nears, it looks like it will be worth keeping an eye on the moves Tampa Bay makes in their quest to improve their roster.