MLB trade deadline: Rays acquire Tommy Pham from Cardinals in exchange for three prospects

The Tampa Bay Rays were expected to make a big trade before the deadline. The Rays did make a big deal Tuesday morning with the Cardinals, but it wasn't the one people expected, however.

The Rays have acquired outfielder Tommy Pham and international bonus money from St. Louis in exchange for pitchers Genesis Cabrera and Roel Ramirez and outfielder Justin Williams, the teams announced.

Pham, 30, has failed to build upon his breakout 2017. In 98 games, he's hit .248/.331/.399 (99 OPS+) with 14 home runs. Underlying metrics, like exit velocity, suggest he deserves better numbers than the ones he's packing en route to St. Petersburg. Heading forward, Pham profiles as a potentially above-average corner outfielder who can hit, field, and run a bit. 

It's worth noting Pham raised eyebrows in St. Louis with public comments he made about the club. The relationship was evidently further strained by an unwillingness on the organization's side to provide him with certain equipment:

Pham is under team control through the 2021 season. 

In exchange, the Cardinals receive two players who rank in the Rays' top 30, per MLB.com.

Williams (No. 14) has stalled in Triple-A. His bat is his best asset, but there's a real chance he's just a platoon bat. Cabrera (No. 25) is an undersized southpaw whose fastball-slider combination could guide him to a late-inning relief role if he's unable to remain in a rotation. Ramirez, meanwhile, is viewed as a potential middle reliever. 

CBS Sports Staff

R.J. Anderson joined CBS Sports in 2016. He previously wrote for Baseball Prospectus, where he contributed to five of the New York Times bestselling annuals. His work has also appeared in Newsweek and... Full Bio

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