An improved bullpen
An early injury to Jake McGee opened the door for Brad Boxberger. He used that opportunity to lead the American League in saves (41) and became an All-Star. But that did not tell the whole story of the Rays bullpen.
The pen led all of Major League Baseball with 27 blown saves and had a save percentage of 69%. The previous two seasons they had blown save totals of 18 and 19. When you were only six games out of a playoff spot those 8-9 extra blown saves loom large.
Trading McGee may well happen. The Rays would be better served by keeping him alongside Boxberger over the next few years, in my opinion. The Kansas City Royals bullpen has demonstrated what a game-changer they can be. Adding one more piece to the Boxberger-McGee duo could have the same effect.
Trading for Jason Grilli could provide depth, a mentor for the young closers, and a bridge to eighth or ninth inning. The Braves, in the midst of rebuilding, have Arodys Vizcaino to close games and may be persuaded to trade Grilli. The price seems perfect for the Rays as he is owed $3.5 million in ’16 with a buyout of $250K in ’17.