Tampa Bay could use an upgrade in four positions; catcher, shortstop, left field and reliever—and although the Rays are not known to make much of a splash on the trade market, Ramon Hernandez and these five players make sense for Tampa Bay.
It's officially 2011 MLB All-Star week, so it's now time for general managers to make any final trades before the July 31 trade deadline.
For the Tampa Bay Rays, this will be their final opportunity to make a last second move to make up ground on their division rivals—the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees who they currently trail by five games.
The Rays are one of the best organizations at developing young talent, but a proven veteran can go a long way in a midseason playoff push.
Luke Scott is one of two left fielders on this list, and although Scott is currently injured with a torn labrum, when healthy he is a productive left fielder.
Scott is hitting .223 with nine home runs, and with Scott's injury history the Rays could possibly attain him for a bit of a bargain.
If the Rays can bring in Scott, he would be an instant upgrade over Sam Fuld, who has cooled off dramatically since his hot start.
The Rays have glaring needs in the bullpen, and although the staff has performed better than most predicted, bringing back a reliever like Chad Qualls could go a long way for Tampa Bay.
Qualls is sporting a 2.70 ERA with a 1.20 WHIP.
Chad Qualls would be a welcomed back commodity for the Tampa Bay Rays, and as a solid reliever, Qualls could be a big pickup for the Rays who are trying to snag a wild card spot.
The Rays could use some help in left field, and Josh Willingham could be a fit for Tampa Bay.
Willingham is hitting .241 with 11 homers and running with a .311 on-base percentage.
The Rays could make a move for Willingham or elect to bring up one of their Triple-A prospects in Desmond Jennings or Brandon Guyer.
The Tampa Bay Rays have Sean Rodriguez, Elliott Johnson and Reid Brignac to man the shortstop position, but none have been very productive except for Rodriguez.
Sean Rodriguez is hitting .223 which isn't spectacular, but his great fielding ability adds value to his play. Kelly Johnson is a career .198 hitter, while Brignac is hitting a lousy .193.
J.J. Hardy is hitting .298 with 13 home runs. Hardy is currently blocking Manny Machado, so he should be available for the Rays to make a move for.
The Rays are dying for offense at the catcher position as John Jaso and Kelly Shoppach have been anything but consistent.
Jaso is hitting .222, while Shoppach is hitting a measly .168—so Ramon Hernandez, who is hitting .322, would be an instant upgrade on offense for the Rays.