According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the Rays could make a trade from their pitching depth, with Erasmo Ramirez being the strongest candidate to be shipped out.
Tampa Bay executed one trade over the offseason, sending Drew Smyly to the Mariners, but the names of Jake Odorizzi, Alex Cobb, and Ramirez have been linked to rumors for months. With the season just a couple weeks away, Ramirez is the most likely to go.
The 26-year-old right-hander got a late start to spring training due to a hamstring issue. He was initially expected to compete for the fifth spot in the rotation, but his injury set him back enough that it looks like Ramirez is destined for the bullpen if he remains in Tampa Bay. Matt Andriese appears to be the favorite for No. 5 duties.
Ramirez’s versatility as a starter or reliever coupled with his $3.2 million salary for 2017 and two additional years of team control through 2019 should make him a somewhat attractive trade chip. He posted a 3.77 ERA and 63/26 K/BB ratio across 90 2⁄3 innings last season, finishing with a 7-11 record and a pair of saves.