Cardinals change course and trade Tommy Pham to Rays

Tommy Pham, with 14 home runs, is traded to the Rays.

In a startling trade in which a traditional contender dealt an everyday player to a club building for the future, the St. Louis Cardinals traded outfielder Tommy Pham to the Tampa Bay Rays for three minor leaguers.

The Rays will send minor leaguers Justin Williams, Genesis Cabrera and Roel Ramirez, along with international slot money, to the Cardinals for Pham, 30, who slugged 23 home runs and posted a .917 OPS in 2017.

This season, he has hit 14 home runs but has seen drops in batting average – down to .248 – as well as on-base and slugging, with his OPS sitting at .730.

With the Rays, he’ll form a potentially elite defensive outfield with former Gold Glove center fielder Kevin Kiermaier and speedy corner outfielder Mallex Smith.


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    The Cardinals, meanwhile, had an abundance of outfield depth and have been one of the game’s most enigmatic teams – at 54-52, in fourth place in the NL Central and 7 1/2 games out of first. Earlier this month, they fired manager Mike Matheny.

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    Williams, an outfielder, and Cabrera, a 21-year-old left-handed pitcher, were the Rays’ No. 14 and 25 prospects, respectively. Cabrera has struck out 124 batters in 112 innings at Class AA Montgomery (Ala.). Williams has reached Class AAA, where he’s hitting .258. He was a second-round pick in 2013.

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