Analyzing Rays' past Trade Deadline deals

Analyzing Rays' past Trade Deadline deals

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays don't like to classify themselves as buyers or sellers. They like to act as the market dictates, and they make whatever move makes the most sense at the right time.

"We don't characterize ourselves at all," Rays president of baseball operations Matt Silverman said. "We know where we are in the standings. We dug ourselves a big hole. At the same time, we have confidence in this club. Whether we are active in the trading market or not is going to be determined by the market, by the conversations, by our record."

The Rays are currently last in the American League East. Their name has been linked in multiple trade rumors, especially for their young crop of starting pitching. 

But before Monday's non-waiver Trade Deadline arrives at 4 p.m. ET and the Rays make whatever moves they will, here's a look at past Deadline deals the franchise has made under its current ownership. Perhaps it will give an idea as to what the Rays might do.

Year: 2006
Record at Deadline: 44-62
Final record: 61-101

The Trade: Shortstop Julio Lugo was dealt to the Dodgers for infielder Joel Guzman and outfielder Sergio Pedroza. 

Analysis: Pedroza never played in the Major Leagues, reaching as high as Triple-A in his career. He retired at age 28. Guzman was the highly touted prospect in the deal. In 2004, he was the Dodgers' Minor League Player of the Year. He never panned out, though, and played only 16 games with the Rays in '07. He never played in the Major Leagues again after that.

Year: 2007
Record at Deadline: 38-65
Final record: 66-96

The Trades: Righty pitcher Seth McClung was traded to the Brewers for Grant Balfour. Infielder Ty Wigginton and cash were dealt to the Astros for pitcher Dan Wheeler. Outfielder Shaun Cumberland, infielder Jorge Cantu and cash were traded to the Reds for pitchers Calvin Medlock and Brian Shackelford. Neither appeared in an MLB game following the trade. 

Grant Balfour's first pitch

Analysis: The Rays had very little immediate benefit from the 2007 trades. Neither Balfour nor Wheeler was effective that season following the trade. But both were crucial to the Rays' World Series run the following season. Balfour had a sub-2.00 ERA the next year. It was a similar situation with Wheeler, who made 70 appearances in a prolific '08 season. It was a strong long-term series of trades for Tampa Bay. 

Year: 2010
Record at Deadline: 64-39
Final record: 96-66

The Trade: The Rays traded for reliever Chad Qualls from the D-backs for a player to be named later. The player who was eventually traded was pitcher Matt Gorgen, who never pitched in the Major Leagues. He had a 1.65 ERA for Double-A Montgomery during the 2010 season.

Analysis: The Rays added Qualls to help bolster their bullpen that season. Qualls had started the year as Arizona's closer, but he didn't sustain it. He was a largely ineffective piece during his short tenure in Tampa Bay.

Year: 2012
Record at Deadline: 50-47
Final record: 90-72

Roberts grabs foul ball with hat

The Trade: The Rays once again traded with the D-backs, dealing infielder Tyler Bortnick in exchange for infielder Ryan Roberts. Bortnick has never played in the Major Leagues, and he's currently with the Tigers' Triple-A Toledo affiliate. He hit .253 with four home runs with Double-A Montgomery in 2012.

Analysis: Roberts had been the D-backs' starting third baseman in 2011, when they won the National League West title. He wasn't as effective the year after, but the Rays hoped he'd help them make a playoff run. He didn't do that, but he did play a minimal role on the 2013 team that reached the postseason. 

Year: 2013
Record at Deadline: 63-43
Final record: 92-71

The Trade: The Rays and White Sox teamed up to send reliever Jesse Crain to Tampa Bay in exchange for two players to be named later and cash. The two players were lefty pitcher Sean Bierman and infielder Ben Kline. Bierman has yet to get above Double-A; Kline didn't play in professional baseball after the trade.

Analysis: Crain never appeared in a game for the Rays. He was activated off the disabled list on Sept. 23, but he didn't take the mound. He has yet to play in another Major League game following that trade. It appeared to be a big pickup for Tampa Bay, but the trade didn't pay dividends for either team in the long or short term.

Year: 2014
Record at Deadline: 53-55
Final record: 77-85

Duquette on Rays' acquisitions

The Trade: The Rays traded former AL Cy Young Award pitcher David Price to Detroit as part of a three-team trade. Tampa Bay acquired pitcher Drew Smyly and shortstop Willy Adames from the Tigers, as well as utilityman Nick Franklin from the Mariners. Price was a four-time All-Star with the Rays, including the year he was traded.

Analysis: Smyly was an ace-caliber pitcher in his seven starts with the Rays following the trade. He went 3-1 with a 1.70 ERA. He struggled with injuries in 2015 and has been wildly inconsistent in '16 -- not winning a game since May 16. So the long-term payoff hasn't come yet for the Rays. Franklin has been up and down with Tampa Bay since the acquisition. Price is one of the highest-paid pitchers in the game with Boston, his third different team following his trade from Tampa Bay. Adames is one of Tampa Bay's top prospects, and he represented the organization in the 2016 SiriusXM Futures Game in San Diego.

Year: 2015
Record at Deadline: 51-53
Final record: 80-82

The Trades: Tampa Bay traded outfielder David DeJesus to the Angels for pitcher Eduar Lopez. Three days later, the Rays traded reliever Kevin Jepsen to the Twins for pitching prospects Chih-Wei Hu and Alexis Tapia.

Analysis: These trades were very interesting for Tampa Bay, which was still in the thick of the AL Wild Card race when it traded away two of its frequently used players. The Rays got back a crop of prospects, including Hu, who pitched in the Futures Game on July 10. Jepsen was stellar following the trade last season, but he struggled to start the 2016 season and the Twins released him. He's currently back with the Rays, and DeJesus is no longer with an MLB team.

Sam Blum is a reporter for based in St. Petersburg. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.