Over this past weekend, George King from the New York Post dropped this rumor update concerning the Tampa Bay Rays:
One NL executive said he heard the Rangers were looking to sign free- agent first baseman Prince Fielder and deal first baseman Mitch Moreland to the Rays for pitcher Wade Davis in the wake of Pujols going to an AL West rival.
While the Texas Rangers might want to pull off a trade like this, the Rays would probably only pursue this route if no better options were available. Moreland was once thought of as the Rangers' first baseman of the future, but he has failed to impress over his season and a third with the team. Despite playing in one of the most homer-friendly parks in the American League, his power has never materialized, making him a below-average first baseman. He still has potential, but he will need to produce in 2012 (his age 26 season) in order to prove his potential is for real.
Despite his subpar 2011 season (4.45 ERA, 4.67 FIP), Wade Davis has more trade value than it appears at first glance. He was once one of the best pitching prospects in the Rays' system; he will only be 26 years old in 2012; and he signed a long-term contract last offseason. However, he also has performed poorly enough these past two seasons to drive his trade value down, and his declining strikeout rate likely raises concerns on if he'll be able to develop into anything more than a #5 starter.
Could a deal like this happen? Certainly, it's possible. But don't count on the Rays pulling the trigger on it until all their other options are off the table.