The Tampa Bay Rays acquired three players at the trade deadline yesterday: RHP Tyler Glasnow, OF Austin Meadows, and OF Tommy Pham. In adding Pham to the roster, the Rays designated SS Adeiny Hechavarria for assignment.
To make room on the roster for OF Tommy Pham, we’ve designated SS Adeiny Hechavarria for assignment.
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) August 1, 2018
With Glassnow and Pham making their debuts with the Rays tonight, and Meadows expected soon, here is a brief rundown/scouting report on the three newest members of the team.
Glasnow was a fifth-round pick in the 2011 draft from Hart High School, in California — the same school former Ray James Shields attended. The Right-hander was ranked a Top 50 prospect by Baseball America from 2014-17, including number 14 entering the 2016 campaign, when he went 8-3, with a 1.87 ERA at Triple-A Indianapolis. In 2017 Glasnow notched a 9-2 record, with a 1.93 ERA. He, however, went 2-9, with a 6.75 ERA in 22 big-league games from 2016-17.
Most recently, Glasnow has worked exclusively out of bullpen, where he went 1-2, with a 4.34 ERA and 72 strikeouts (third among NL relievers) over 56 innings of work (34 games), making a majors-most 19 appearances of two-plus innings.
This season Glasnow has relied primarily on a blazing fast 98 mph four-seam fastball which generates a lot of ground balls and whiffs, and a hard 84 mph curveball with sharp downward bite and 12-6 movement. He also rarely throws a whiffy 86 mph slider with exceptional depth, and a hard 93 mph changeup.
Glasnow will wear No. 20 for the Rays.
Meadows was the number nine overall pick in 2013 draft from Grayson High, in Georgia, where he hit .535 as a senior. He was ranked a Top 50 prospect by Baseball America from 2014-18, including number six entering the 2017 season. Meadows has hit .291 over parts of six minor-league seasons with an .808 OPS.
The southpaw hitting outfielder made an impressive Major League debut after a mid-May callup, becoming the fifth player in the expansion era to hit .400 with four homers (or more) in his first 40 at-bats. He is hitting .292 overall with five homers, 13 RBI and a .795 OPS in 49 games. Meadows’ offensive production fell off after an excellent month of May, slashing .260 BA/.310 OBP/.377 SLG/.687 OPS/.294 wOBA/.117 ISO/83 wRC in 84 plate appearances, with six extra base hits (four doubles, one triple, and one home run), five runs, and six RBI. He was was sent down to Triple-A Durham where he can get regular at-bats, and time in the field, until he is promoted to the big league roster.
Pham is under control for another three seasons beyond the 2018 campaign. The outfielder will be arbitration-eligible for the first time this offseason and is not eligible for free agency until after 2021, making him an affordable long-term piece to help the Rays move back into a contention from this point forward, along with the young core built around Blake Snell, Jake Bauers, Willy Adames and others.
The right-handed hitting Pham has slashed .271 BA/.365 OBP/.463 SLG/.828 OPS/.358 wOBA/.193 ISO/124 wRC+ in 1284 career plate appearances over parts of five seasons with St. Louis. He has fallen off dramatically from his 2017 campaign, in which he performed to a 6.1 fWAR with a .306 BA/.411 OBP/.520 SLG/.931 OPS/.398 wOBA/148 wRC+/.214 ISO slash line — with 23 home runs, 73 RBI, and 95 runs — but the Rays do not believe that was a fluke.
Pham is walking less (down 3%), striking out more (up 2%), his OPS is down, and he’s been more pull friendly in 2018. So why pursue the outfielder in the first place?
He still hits the ball about as hard as anyone on the reg. In short, Erik Neander and Chaim Bloom felt his underlying numbers this season indicate that his overall performance is close to last season’s numbers.
Pham will wear No. 29 for the Rays.
— As Marc Topkin (Tampa Bay Times) tweeted, the Rays could not find a trade partner for Hechavarria by Tuesday’s deadline, hence the DFA to make room for Pham. He, however, is still in the clubhouse seen wearing a Rays t-shirt, although he has declined to speak with the media. The Rays will have seven days to put together a deal for Hechavarria, or release him from his contract, before he hits the waiver wire por nada.
If I may, since Pham is the heir apparent to an outfield position, Carlos Gomez should have been the player designated for assignment, not Hech.