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Breaking: Rays trade Pham to Padres

The San Diego Padres and Tampa Bay Rays announced today that they had completed a trade that will send outfielder Hunter Renfroe, middle infield prospect Xavier Edwards and a player to be named later to Tampa Bay, with Tommy Pham and minor leaguer Jake Cronenworth being sent to San Diego. 

Renfroe has averaged a slash line of .231/.291/.486 with 78 total home runs and a 102 wRC+ since his first full season in 2017.He has good power despite not getting on base much, but his true talent lies in the outfield.  In the 998 total innings Renfroe spent in the outfield in 2019, he accrued 22 DRS and 10.1 UZR. He is an elite defender with good power. He’s under team control for the next 4 years, and is expected to make just $3.4 milion in arbitration. Helpful for a Rays team always looking to save money

Xavier Edwards, the 38th overall pick in the 2018 draft, is a switch hitting middle infielder who got his first full season in pro ball this year. He slashed .322/.371/.391 with 1 home run and a 118 wRC+ in between low and high A. He also spent the majority of his innings at second base. The number five prospect in the Padres organization and the 84th overall prospect in baseball according to fangraphs, he has major potential. Oh, and Blake Snell called him a “slapdick”

Tommy Pham somehow hasn’t been an All Star the past 3 years, despite averaging .284/.381/.475 with a 133 wRC+ with 65 total home runs. One of the premiere outfielders of the past 3 years, Pham is still productive despite entering his 30s. His fielding ability has tapered off however. He had just 1 DRS and 0.4 UZR in 1093.1 innings in 2019. But his bat more than makes up for it. Pham is expected to make $8.6 million in arbitration before becoming a free agent in 2021

Jake Cronenworth, the 57th prospect in the Rays organization, is a left-handed hitting shortstop who slashed .344/.429/.520 with a 147 wRC+ and 10 home runs in AAA for the Rays. He did well despite suffering from a hamstring injury in the middle of the season. He also has the interesting wrinkle of being able to pitch. In the 7.1 innings he threw in 2019, he struck out 9 batters, walked 8, and only gave up 4 hits. It’s hard to draw any conclusion from just 7 innings of work, but it’s something to consider

Some people may call this a salary dump, but I think it’s more than that. The Padres get a pretty big upgrade in the outfield and a prospect who can play the field and come in to pitch relief, while the Rays get a defensive savant who can hit for power plus a very promising prospect.

Elizabeth Tsai

A lifelong baseball fan, I've supported the Oakland A's through good times and bad. A numbers geek, I love diving into the stats to find any fascinating stories not obvious to the basic eye test. Proud transgender woman

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