Inbox: How is the Rays' trade haul looking?

Beat reporter Bill Chastain answers questions from fans

August 13th, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash takes the ball from starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow in the sixth inning of their baseball game against the Blue Jays in Toronto on Sunday Aug. 12, 2018. (Fred Thornhill/The Canadian Press via AP)Fred Thornhill/AP

Can you believe the haul the Rays got for Chris Archer? looks like he can be a No. 1 starter, and I'm looking forward to seeing when they bring him to Tropicana Field. The Rays should be so lucky in all of their deals.
-- Brad C., Tampa, Fla.

I'll tell you what, Glasnow has been impressive. In three starts, the right-hander has allowed three runs on six hits and three walks while striking out 20 in 12 innings. And I'm looking forward to seeing Meadows play, too. But I think it's too early to judge this trade just yet. I do think it will be good for Archer to get a fresh start with Pittsburgh. And again, Glasnow looks really, really good.
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Why did the Rays trade away for a song? He's the best catcher in franchise history. We've gone years without having a solid backstop, and Ramos was an All-Star. He's a free agent after the season. Do you think there's a chance they'll sign him?
-- Bob D., St. Petersburg

First, I totally get the trade. Ramos was in the back end of a two-year deal. And the fact he was on the disabled list further diminished his trade value. Given what the Rays seem to be doing, which is cashing in their older assets to go with younger players, I don't see them re-signing Ramos.
OK, I get it -- the Rays love , and they want to see if he can play a little bit. And since they gave him the shortstop job, he's played better. What I don't get is why they gave up on . He might be the best fielding shortstop the Rays have had, and he's just 29. Doesn't that qualify him, age-wise, for what they're trying to do? I would rather have seen the team slide Adames over to second and keep Hechavarria.
-- Barry A., Clearwater, Fla.

While I'll agree with you that Hechavarria could field the position rather well -- see the six errors total that he made in 492 chances with the Rays -- the club believes it has an all-around shortstop in Adames. All of the scouts I've talked to agree with that viewpoint.
The Rays have had good fortune using their "openers" and having bullpen days this season. Do you think going forward they will use openers and bullpen days?
-- Ken C., Tampa, Fla.

Based on the effectiveness of their innovative pitching methods, I do believe they will continue to use both, but in a modified form. I can see them having two or three traditional starters, then using relievers for the other two or three days. It should be fun to watch and see what they do.
As a longtime fan going back to Devil Rays days, I'm discouraged at the gap in the standings between the Rays and the first-place Red Sox. Is there any hope of closing that gap?
-- Ben L., Tampa, Fla.

Boston is on track for one of the best seasons in Major League history, and that happens sometimes. As for the Rays, I've marveled at what they've done this season. They've turned over the team and continued to play well throughout. Going forward, I believe this core group of players will lead the team to some exciting times to where they will be challenging the Red Sox and Yankees for the American League East title.