MLB Trade Deadline Winners and Losers: Rays Strike out Swinging at Deadline
If you want to talk about misplaying the 2011 MLB trade deadline, look no further than the Tampa Bay Rays.
At this point, I wish the ‘Devil’ was back in this team name, they need something to fire them up. They could have done something at the deadline, something by the phrase of addition by subtraction.
With the top sluggers on the trade market already in new homes, Tampa Bay needed to capitalize on B.J. Upton’s potential and trade him away to the highest suitor. Several teams were rumored to be interested in his services including Cleveland, Washington, Pittsburgh and St. Louis.
Instead of keeping Upton, who has developed into both a disappointment and cancer, they could have shipped him off for prospects, or at the very least, veterans.
Upton desperately needs out of Tampa since his poor attitude has reflected his play in the field and the batter’s box. He no longer looks as comfortable in either situation and is clearly affected by the losing and lack of fan support.
He is currently hitting .226 with 16 HR, 54 RBI and 23 SB. His numbers on the season and potential to break out is more than enough for teams to take a chance on him, and they would have if the Rays were more willing to get a deal done.
It’s mighty confusing that the Rays failed to push for him to be traded. Desmond Jennings has been phenomenal since being called up. His abilities in the field, batter’s box and base paths trump Upton’s potential.
The soon-to-be 25-year-old Jennings has come on this season with a bang over the past week. He is hitting .379 with one HR, one 2B, one 3B, eight RBI, five BB and four SB in eight games played.
Tampa Bay had the perfect opportunity to capitalize on slugger-needy game-changers and they failed, miserably. They have no need for Upton and his attitude anymore with Jennings finally on board.
Way to misjudge the deadline, Tampa!
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