The Rays’ rotation has been ravaged by damage in 2023, with starters Drew Rasmussen and Jeffrey Springs each taking place for the season already. Shane Baz underwent Tommy John surgical procedure final September, and Shane McClanahan has been out since June 30 with a again damage (although he’s anticipated again Monday). Tyler Glasnow is wholesome for the time being however has been restricted to simply 9 begins this season. Southpaw Josh Fleming hit the injured listing on June 3 and has since been moved to the 60-day IL.
Tampa Bay stays in first place regardless of that slate of well being woes, however the rotation at present consists of McClanahan, Glasnow, Zach Eflin and prime prospect Taj Bradley. The Rays have had their share of bullpen video games this season, and with so lots of their arms completed for the 12 months, they’re available in the market for veteran rotation assist. Bob Nightengale of USA In the present day reports that they’ve already spoken to the White Sox a few potential deal for Lance Lynn, they usually’ve additionally “extensively” scouted Cardinals rental arms Jordan Montgomery and Jack Flaherty.
Lynn, 36, is within the second season of a two-year, $38M contract that comprises a $18M membership possibility (or $1M buyout) for the 2024 season. The 2021 All-Star completed within the prime six of American League Cy Younger voting every season from 2019-21 however is at present within the midst of one of many hardest seasons of his profession. Via 108 1/3 frames, Lynn owns a 6.06 ERA, due largely to an MLB-high 24 residence runs allowed.
Whereas the lengthy ball has plagued Lynn at career-worst ranges in 2023, he’s nonetheless lacking bats at a excessive fee and limiting walks. Lynn’s 27.7% strikeout fee ranks tenth within the majors and his 14% swinging-strike fee ranks eighth. His 8.3% stroll fee is simply narrowly greater than the 7.9% common amongst large league starters. Metrics like xFIP (3.82) and SIERA (3.79) really feel he’s outperformed his baseline ERA.
Lynn is being paid $18.5M this season and has about $7.6M remaining on the deal — plus the $1M buyout on subsequent 12 months’s possibility. Regardless of the poor outcomes, Nightengale notes that the asking value on the righty stays excessive — doubtless reflective of each the restricted variety of starters accessible and the broad variety of groups who consider Lynn’s robust Ok-BB profile makes him an interesting rebound candidate.
As for the Cardinals’ starters, each are fairly easy commerce candidates. The Playing cards sit in final place within the Nationwide League Central and are 11.5 video games again not solely within the division but additionally within the Nationwide League wild card. President of baseball ops John Mozeliak is already turning his focus to the 2024 season, and the Cardinals have began making modifications on the roster, as they’re reportedly set to designate lefty reliever Genesis Cabrera for project.
Each Montgomery and Flaherty are set to be free brokers following the season.
The 30-year-old Montgomery could be a pure candidate to obtain and reject a qualifying provide at season’s finish, however the demand for rotation assist ought to create a commerce return that outpaces that worth. In 18 begins and 103 innings this 12 months, Montgomery boasts a 3.23 ERA with a 22.3% strikeout fee (roughly common for a beginning pitcher), a powerful 6.6% stroll fee and an above-average 45.9% ground-ball fee. He’s incomes $10M on the season — about $4.1M of which is but to be paid out.
Flaherty, 27, was one of many NL’s finest younger starters in 2018-19 however has been tormented by accidents for a lot of the previous few seasons. He’s been wholesome in 2023, making 18 begins and tallying 98 2/3 innings, however his 11.8% stroll fee is an alarming mark that represents a continuation of final 12 months’s career-worst ranges (13.2%). Regardless of that, he has a 4.29 ERA with strikeout and ground-ball charges almost equivalent to these of Montgomery. At $5.4M, he’s incomes roughly half the wage of Montgomery and has about $2.2M nonetheless owed to him.
There’s no indication that the Rays have had any form of superior talks on any of the three, and this trio certainly represents only a handful of a bigger variety of arms Tampa Bay is contemplating. It stands to motive that they’ll test in on nearly all of arms accessible, significantly these at present enjoying for concrete sellers just like the White Sox and Cardinals.
Lynn, Montgomery and Flaherty all have a great likelihood to be moved within the subsequent few weeks, and every will draw curiosity from a broad vary of suitors. The Rays, with a deep farm system and clear postseason ambitions, have the flexibility and motivation to land nearly any beginning pitcher they covet. Time will inform which path they go as they proceed to survey the market between now and the Aug. 1 deadline.