The rays find themselves in a difficult situation with regard to Tyler Glasno. The 6’8 right-handed bowler is probably the team’s most talented bowler. Last season, he looked at the path towards establishing himself among the best in the sport. With his first 14 starts and 88 runs, Glasnow clocked a 2.66 ERA with an impressive 36.2% strike rate and a solid 7.9% walk percentage.
Glasnow has always had the raw stuff miss bats in droves, but as he entered his mid-twenties, he seemed to have found the right control. He has the potential to be a leading player. Unfortunately, his health had not yet allowed him to reach this upward trend. Glasno missed a large part of the 2019 season due to forearm fatigue. He remained healthy through the shortened 2020 campaign, but did not make it until 2021 unscathed.
Last June, Glasno suffered a partial UCL tear in his arm. After his unsuccessful attempt to rehabilitate the injury, the California native underwent Tommy John’s surgery two months later. This obviously ended his season in 2021, and it will likely cost him all of 2022 as well. The timing of this action leaves the Tampa Bay front office with a decision to make about his long-term future in the organization.
Glasnow is the qualifying referee for the third of the four times this off season. It is on track to gain access to free agency after the 2023 season. With the next season likely to expire, the Glasnou club is looking for one year (2023) of production before it can test the open market. MLBTR contributor Matt Schwartz predicted him with a salary of $5.8 million this year, and he will likely get the same amount the following season.
That’s about $12 million over two years for one season of Glasnow’s services. Given the level of bowler he has, that could be a bargain if he returns to his formation in 2023. However, as Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal and Dennis Lane wrote last summer, it is not clear how much workload the team can reasonably expect Glasno to operate. That year even if his recovery went as planned. While he should have little trouble preparing for the start of 2023 – barring unexpected setbacks in his rehab process – he may not be equipped to handle the 180-cycle workload. Between injuries and the pandemic, Glasnow will have thrown 241 2/3 the MLB Tour between 2019-22, including post-season (assuming he misses the entire next year).
As is usually the case with the Rays, there are also their team’s spending limitations to consider. Tampa Bay entered last season with player payroll just south of $67 million, estimated at Cot baseball contracts. Including arbitration expectations, Roster Resource’s Jason Martinez pegs his 2022 commitments in the $84 million range. That’s not much compared to the rest of the league, but it would be a standard Tampa Bay franchise. Is the property willing to support this kind of spending as the season enters? Even if that were the case, would the front office like to reallocate Glasnow’s projected money as they try to run a run for the fifth consecutive 90-win show?
Rays will not move Glasno on my own to pay the salary. Had this been the case, they would have simply not submitted the bid before the November deadline. But it seems more likely that they will consider commercial offers, especially if they can get help for 2022 in return. Rosenthal and Lynn reported on Tampa Bay and kicked the Cubs around trade combinations that include Glasno and Chris Bryant Wow Craig Kimbrel before the deadline last summer. Those clearly haven’t come to fruition, but Rays will likely be looking into similar possibilities after the shutdown.
Any team with designs to compete in 2023 could be a reasonable business partner. A retooling organization like Cubs or the Nationals can make a few million dollars during a non-competitive season while looking to make a quick rebound after selling the pieces last summer. Any immediate competitor with more near-term financial flexibility than Rays could see this as a lower buying opportunity. Trades of talented players between contenders are uncommon, but given Rays’ financial situation and the timing of Glasnow’s surgery, it wouldn’t be surprising to find a deal during the expected post-close trading frenzy.