MLB Rumors: Rays Prepared To Make Splash At Trade Deadline?

The Cubs are expected to move Willson Contreras

by

August 2

Many teams made their mark with franchise-altering decisions on the eve of the Major League Baseball trade deadline. Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Rays seemingly sat back and let the drama unfold.

The Rays acquired outfielder David Peralta from the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday and since have remained quiet, making less-than-notable transactions. That could change Tuesday as the deadline ticks down.

The Rays are in the mix, along with the New York Mets, for Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.

Rosenthal also cited the catcher as a possible fallback plan for the San Diego Padres should their attempted acquisition of Washington Nationals superstar Juan Soto fall through.

The Mets have been quite loud at the deadline since Steve Cohen took the reigns as majority owner, but they have stayed under the radar thus far in 2022. Given the Padres’ reported heavy pursuit of both Soto and Nationals first baseman Josh Bell, it’s hard to envision a scenario where the Friars end up with Contreras, as well. Should things go south with Soto, the catcher could jump back up the Padres’ priority list.

For now, it appears to be a two-team race for the talented backstop, and the Rays are well-positioned to make a splash with a deep farm system.

Contreras is hitting .252 with 20 doubles, a triple, 14 home runs, 38 RBIs and an .818 OPS this season. For what it’s worth, he also leads MLB with 20 hit-by-pitches.

Tampa Bay acquired catcher Christian Bethancourt from the Oakland Athletics on July 9 but have been without catchers Mike Zunino and Francisco Mejía due to injuries. Contreras has played left field in the past and could be a moving chess piece for the Rays with the ability to bolster their injury-laden lineup.

The MLB trade deadline is Tuesday at 6 p.m. ET.

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