The Rays’ rotation has been ravaged by harm in 2023, with starters Drew Rasmussen and Jeffrey Springs each happening 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 harm (although he’s anticipated again tonight). Tyler Glasnow is wholesome for the time being however has been restricted to only 9 begins this season. Southpaw Josh Fleming hit the injured checklist 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 already, and with so a lot of their arms executed for the 12 months, they’re available in the market for veteran rotation assist. Bob Nightengale of USA Immediately stories that they’ve already spoken to the White Sox a few potential deal for Lance Lynn, and so they’ve additionally “extensively” scouted Cardinals rental arms Jordan Montgomery and Jack Flaherty.
Lynn, 36, is within the second season of a two-year, $38MM contract that incorporates a $18MM membership possibility (or $1MM 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. By 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 stage and limiting walks at a satisfactory charge. Lynn’s 27.7% strikeout charge ranks tenth within the Majors amongst certified starters, and his 14% swinging-strike charge ranks eighth. His 8.3% stroll charge is simply narrowly larger than the 7.9% common amongst huge league starters. Metrics like xFIP (3.82) and SIERA (3.79) really feel he’s outperformed his baseline ERA.
Lynn is being paid $18.5MM this season and, as of this writing, has about $7.6MM remaining on the deal — plus the $1MM buyout on subsequent 12 months’s possibility. Regardless of the poor outcomes, Nightengale notes that the asking value on the righty stays excessive — seemingly reflective of each the restricted variety of starters accessible and the broad variety of groups who imagine Lynn’s robust Ok-BB profile makes him an interesting rebound candidate.
As for the Cardinals’ starters, each are relatively 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 in addition within the Nationwide League Wild Card chase. President of baseball ops John Mozeliak is already turning his focus to the 2024 season, and the Cardinals already look to be making some modifications on the roster, as they’re reportedly set to designate lefty reliever Genesis Cabrera for task at present.
Each Montgomery and Flaherty, in the meantime, 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 supply 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 charge (roughly common for a beginning pitcher), a powerful 6.6% stroll charge and an above-average 45.9% ground-ball charge. He’s incomes $10MM on the season — about $4.1MM 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 suffering from 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 this 12 months’s 11.8% stroll charge is an alarming mark that represents a continuation of final 12 months’s career-worst ranges (13.2%). Regardless of that top stage, he has a 4.29 ERA with strikeout and ground-ball charges practically similar to these of Montgomery. At $5.4MM, he’s incomes roughly half the wage of Montgomery and has about $2.2MM nonetheless owed to him.
There’s no indication but 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 purpose that they’ll test in on the vast majority of arms accessible, significantly these at present taking part in for concrete sellers just like the White Sox and Cardinals. Every of Lynn, Montgomery and Flaherty has a great probability 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 power 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.