Front offices of the Philadelphia Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays surely have had each other on speed dial the past four seasons. Since June 2017, the 2008 World Series rivals have made several trades with each other — the most recent being a three-way swap.
In December, the Phillies acquired left-hander Jose Alvarado from the Rays, while sending fellow southpaw Garrett Cleavinger to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Last August, the Phillies sent right-hander Edgar García to Tampa Bay for a player to be named later (PTBNL) or cash considerations. In November 2019, the Phillies acquired left-hander Cristopher Sanchez — who recently almost threw a combined no-hitter with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs — for minor-league infielder Curtis Mead. In July 2018, the Phillies acquired catcher Wilson Ramos for a PTBNL or cash considerations, while dealing left-hander Hoby Milner in a separate trade for cash. Lastly, in June 2017, the Phillies traded infielder Taylor Featherston for cash.
Long story short, the two teams have made at least one trade in four consecutive years. If the trend continues into 2021 — with Dave Dombrowski leading the baseball operations department — there is no better time for the Phillies to see potential acquisitions first-hand than this weekend.
Here are three Rays trade targets to keep an eye on during the Phillies and Rays’ two-game Memorial Day Weekend series at Tropicana Field. Perhaps, Dombrowski and Erik Neander, Rays Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager, will work out a trade not too long thereafter.