Tampa Bay Rays Let Trade Deadline Pass Without Additional Moves

Jamal Wilburg@JWilburgCorrespondent IJuly 31, 2013

ST. PETERSBURG - JULY 31: Infielder Ben Zobrist #18 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates his fourth inning double against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the game at Tropicana Field on July 31, 2013 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
J. Meric/Getty Images

Jesse Crain is the only new addition to the Tampa Bay Rays as the non-waiver deadline has passed. The Rays tend to be silent at the trade deadline each year, depending instead on their farm system and economical offseason additions to compose their roster.  

The team is in a better position for not forcing a deal.

The Rays finished the month with the third best July record in MLB history at 21-5. The team does not have a glaring need that could have reasonably been filled with a trade acquisition, especially one that probably would have cost the team a piece they will need this season or seasons to come.

There was speculation leading up to the deadline that Tampa Bay would make a move to add a bat to the lineup. The anticipation increased when infielder Ryan Roberts was pulled from his AAA-Durham game. Marc Topkin from the Tampa Bay Times tweeted on Tuesday night that he was hearing that Roberts was being pulled in reference to a trade negotiation: 

Hearing #Rays are still working on a potential deal. Guessing for a bat. Don't know more. Roberts' removal from AAA game was related.

—Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) July 31, 2013

That speculation died on Wednesday when it was announced that Roberts would be joining the Rays and pitcher Matt Moore would be going to the disabled list with elbow soreness. The team announced the DL move via their official Twitter account:

#Rays place @MattyMoe55 on DL with elbow soreness. Moore: "The goal is to be healthy for the last month and a half. ..I'm very optimistic."

—Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) July 31, 2013

Looking at the deals that were completed there wasn’t an impact player on the market who could have made a significant impact on the team while meeting their fiscal requirements. The player would likely have to be an outfielder, as the other positions are pretty much entrenched for the season. That would have left either Matt Joyce or Kelly Johnson—assuming they were not part of the trade—in a deeper platoon situation.

The team has a surplus of pitching and could have made a move that included someone like reliever Kyle Farnsworth, but he is not enough for a team to give up a quality bat.

In the end, the Rays have the nucleus that can take the team deep into the postseason. Sometimes it is best to not tinker with what is working.