Brewers: 4 Trade Targets From The Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Rays v Houston Astros
Tampa Bay Rays v Houston Astros / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages

The Milwaukee Brewers are on the search for roster upgrades while the Tampa Bay Rays have a serious 40 man roster crunch. Several trades are expected to be consummated within the next 48 hours ahead of the 40 man roster deadline to protect prospects from the Rule 5 Draft.

The Rays already have a full 40 man roster and with several top prospects to add, they're in deal-making mode, With the Rays looking to clear roster space, the Brewers should be making phone calls to the Rays about several of their players.

Last year, the Brewers acquired Mike Brosseau from the Rays prior to the 40 man roster deadline to clear room and they could easily line up as trade partners once again.

Here are three players the Brewers should try to trade for from the Tampa Bay Rays.

Trade Target #1: 3B Yandy Diaz

The Brewers are in need of an upgrade at third base and Yandy Diaz could present a very cost-effective option for Milwaukee to do so. Diaz has two years of arbitration remaining before reaching free agency after the 2024 season and is projected to earn a $5.4MM salary in 2023. That's the largest projected salary in Tampa Bay's arbitration class, which could make him a trade candidate for a team with even more payroll constraints than the Brewers.

Last season, Diaz hit .296/.401/.423 with 33 doubles and nine homers. He drew 78 walks to just 60 strikeouts. That's right, he walks more than he strikes out and gets on base at a 40% clip. For comparison's sake, the Brewers best qualified hitter in 2022 hit .255/.315/.492 and that was Hunter Renfroe.

So, Yandy Diaz would present an excellent upgrade to the Brewers offense and give them everything they were lacking last season. Because of Tampa's 40 man roster crunch, acquiring Diaz would likely only cost prospects further away from the big leagues, which would be easier to part with given that most of the Crew's top prospects are in the upper levels of the minors.

Diaz isn't a great defender at third base, but even if his defense becomes a problem, he could still be plenty productive at DH. If Diaz is available, the Brewers should be pursuing him relentlessly. His bat is everything this offense needs.

Trade Target #2: INF Isaac Paredes

If the Rays trade Yandy Diaz, then Isaac Paredes would most likely take over as the full time third baseman. If they don't want to trade Diaz, then perhaps they'd be willing to trade Paredes.

Paredes has more present power than Diaz, as shown by his 20 home runs in 2022 versus Diaz's nine in nearly 200 more plate appearances, but the drawback has been a much lower bating average. Paredes hit just .205/.304/.435 this past season. So why is he a good option for the Brewers?

Despite his high power, low average stat line, Paredes is a disciplined hitter that draws walks and doesn't strike out much. Paredes has just a 17.8% career K percentage. He also draws walks at a 10.8% clip. His batting average on balls in play (BABIP) was just .195 this year.

Paredes is a dead-pull hitter, pulling the ball more than 50% of the time. He gets shifted heavily and that eats up a lot of his hard contact that should normally go for base hits.

But wait, the shift is going away in 2023. Teams can no longer put three guys on the same side of the infield and play him as they have been. That should lead to better numbers going forward. Banning the shift will be a godsend for a player like Paredes.

Paredes still has four seasons of team control left and isn't yet arbitration eligible. Because of his prior career output, Paredes may even cost less to acquire in terms of prospects than Diaz even though he has more years remaining. If the Brewers were to acquire either Diaz or Paredes, they'll be in a good spot at third base.

Trade Target #3: RHP J.P. Feyereisen

Matt Arnold already re-acquired one player that the Brewers traded away in 2021 in Payton Henry, who's to say he won't try to do the same thing again with J.P. Feyereisen?

Feyereisen has enjoyed success when healthy for the Rays. In fact, he didn't allow a single earned run in 24.1 IP for the Rays in 2022, but he suffered an injury that lingered and kept him out for the rest of the season. He should be ready to return completely healthy in 2023, however.

Trading away Feyereisen in 2021 seemed to hamstring the depth of the Brewers bullpen that year, although the return of Willy Adames helped to offset that. With the Brewers again on the search for more bullpen help this offseason, perhaps bringing back Feyereisen will give them the setup man to Devin Williams they're looking for.

Trade Target #4: RHP Colby White

Colby White is a Rule 5 eligible prospect that just missed the entire 2022 season due to Tommy John surgery. He has a blazing fastball and a nasty slider to go with it. He's purely a reliever and has seen incredible success in a short amount of time in the minor leagues.

In 2021, White worked his way up from Low-A all the way to Triple-A by the end of the season with a 1.44 ERA in 62.1 IP across all four levels. He allowed just 15 walks and struck out 104 while converting 11 of 13 save opportunities.

The Brewers do have room on their 40 man roster and could acquire White with the intention to stash him themselves and give him an opportunity to earn a bullpen spot in spring training. Milwaukee is on the search for more pitching depth and adding someone like White to go with guys like Cam Robinson and Abner Uribe who are Rule 5 eligible as well this winter could provide the depth the Brewers need for their staff.

The Rays have a great development staff and a ton of depth on their 40 man roster, which makes a lot of guys available. Brewers GM Matt Arnold worked for the Rays for a number of years and has a great relationship with those guys, which hopefully will lead to a trade being made for one or more of these players.

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