Rays Recent Trade Shouldn’t Shake Up Bulls
Thursday night the Tampa Bay Rays made a trade, acquiring Corey Dickerson and minor leaguer Kevin Padlo from the Colorado Rockies in exchange for Jake McGee and minor leaguer German Marquez. Additionally, the Rays signed Steve Pearce.
On the surface, this trade doesn’t seem to have much of an affect on the Durham Bulls. Dickerson and McGee are both bona fide major leaguers, and won’t/wouldn’t factor into the Bulls roster at all. Marquez, a right-handed starter, was probably tabbed for Double-A Montgomery to begin the season, despite being on the 40-man roster. Padlo is just 19, and spent the 2015 season between Short-Season Boise and Single-A Asheville, so a jump to Triple-A seems highly unlikely.
The biggest piece of last night that could affect Durham is the signing of Pearce. The 32-year-old has hit 36 home runs over the past two seasons, and is expected to add pop to the middle of the Rays’ lineup. Pearce can play corner infield and corner outfield, but the addition of Dickerson creates a logjam in the outfield along with Kevin Kiermaier, Steven Souza Jr., Desmond Jennings and Brandon Guyer. With Pearce’s ability to play first, the Rays now have Pearce, James Loney and Logan Morrison who can all play that position.
So what does this mean for Durham? It appears that, should the Rays carry this roster into Opening Day, Richie Shaffer and Mikie Mahtook would open the year with the Bulls. Mahtook, strictly an outfielder, could have a hard time cracking the top five in the outfield. Shaffer, primarily a third baseman who the Rays played at first base and rightfield a year ago, still sits behind Longoria at third and the aforementioned three at first.