With the non-waiver trade deadline rapidly approaching, and several marquee players already dealt, the attention is now focused on Tampa Bay. The Rays are reportedly weighing offers for Chris Archer. As Caitlin noted yesterday, the Yankees are one of the team’s in the mix for the right-hander.
Now it appears clear whom the Rays are targeting in a potential trade with the Bombers. According to reports, Tampa Bay had a pair of scouts on hand at last night’s RailRiders game, where top prospect Justus Sheffield pitched.
Sheffield had a decent outing, throwing 5.2 innings of one-run ball, striking out three in the process. Not his best start, but he didn’t pitch poorly. One scout relayed to Jon Heyman that the left-hander struggled with his fastball command.
rays had two scouts watching top yankees lip prospect justus sheffield yesterday, adding intrigue to chris archer rumors (as @Joelsherman1 mentioned). another scout said: "was just ok ... fighting fastball command." padres still seen as current favorites for archer -- if he goes— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 29, 2018
Sheffield, 22, owns a 2.37 ERA with a 3.04 FIP over 68.1 innings. He made an appearance in the MLB Futures Game, and General Manager Brian Cashman indicated that he’s a call-up candidate. He also represents the team’s most coveted trade chip.
It’s also worth mentioning that the RailRiders played the Atlanta Braves’ Triple-A affiliate. It’s possible that the Rays were scouting other players, not just Sheffield. Still, we have a better picture of what Tampa Bay is looking for in a potential Archer deal.
What do you think? Would you move Sheffield for Archer? Let us know in the comment section!