The Rays clear a spot in the rotation for David Price by trading starter Edwin Jackson to the Detroit Tigers for outfielder Matt Joyce (above). This is a swap of players with potential to be reliable starter in the majors. Edwin Jackson improved this past season and tied with James Shields for most wins by a starter last year. But with rising star David Price set to be a starter, there was a need to clear space by moving either Edwin or Sonnanstine to the bullpen or in a trade.
Needing another outfielder with a big bat, Matt Joyce can provide 15-20 home runs and around .500 slugging percentage. He also can play the corners of the outfield and has above average defense. The concern is why the Rays got another left-handed hitter instead of a right-hander that can hit against lefties, which was a weak spot last year. But the Rays see his potential and like they have control of him for six years. He also has options and can be sent down if the Rays feel he needs more time in the minors.
Now the Rays have talked to another former Yankee Bobby Abreu. They have now talked to Abreu, Jason Giambi, Milton Bradley, and expressed interest in Rick Ankiel as a candidate for a big bat in the DH spot. Stay tuned.