Tampa Bay Rays
The Tampa Bay Rays are a hard team to figure out a path to deal with because they view players differently than most of the league does. However, they only have three starting pitchers of Major League quality listed on their rotation depth chart. Davies or Anderson would help fill out their rotation, and gobble up innings. They’re both better options than Yonny Chirinos and Jalen Beeks. For a team with a serious shot at the 2019 AL Wild Card, the Rays really need to find an upgrade to their rotation, even if they don’t value starters the same way as other teams. Someone has to take the ball to open the game, and they can’t do a ‘bullpen game‘ every day, can they?
In addition to the need for more starting pitching, the Rays could also make sense as a destination for Thames. Whether they make him a DH or a first baseman, the Rays could stand to add Thames to their roster. The Rays could also keep Thames around beyond 2019 if they choose to exercise his club option worth $7.5 million.
Thames team-friendly deal makes sense for the cost conscious Rays, and he could provide more from the DH or first base spots than the current options.
The Milwaukee Brewers could also look to flip Thames for a lottery ticket from the low minors, and then look to add to their roster with the salary relief a deal provides. The Brewers could also look to package Thames and a starting pitcher to get a more favorable deal.
With $57 million committed for 2019, even the Rays can afford to add Thames or an affordable starter from the Milwaukee Brewers. They also have the payroll room to add a contract, but they also have the prospects to send back if the Brewers agree to pay the salary of any Major League talent heading back.