Five Major Questions for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2016

(Photo: TBO.com)

(Photo: TBO.com)

When will Jake McGee be traded?

This is not IF he will be traded. He will. Just a question of when. McGee is another name that has been thrown out this offseason as trade bait. The Rays are holding their cards close to the vest. With big name closers moving into their division (Craig Kimbrel, Aroldis Chapman) there is a clear need to have a formidable bullpen. Historically the Rays have been built around pitching and defense. With an impressive starting staff they will be engaged in many one- or two-run ball games in a hotly-contested American League East.

That is in the short-term. The long-term view is the Rays also have an All-Star closer in Brad Boxberger which comes at a fraction of the cost. McGee will make $4.8 million in 2016 where Boxberger will be closer to the major league minimum. With McGee having a fourth year of arbitration eligibility he will be a highly attractive left-handed power arm available at the trade deadline, IF the Rays are not in playoff contention (or even if they are). There will likely be three or four teams looking for a LHP as they prepare for the stretch run. That is where McGee’s value will be its highest.

Prediction: Traded to the Chicago Cubs late July.

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