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MLB Rumor Central: Could the Rays deal a pitcher?

Ramirez started 27 games in 2015 before being switched to a bullpen role last season. Brian Blanco/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Rays could look to deal a pitcher, reports Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, citing sources.

Rumor CentralRosenthal tweets that the Rays "could trade from pitching depth" and mentions reliever Erasmo Ramirez as the strongest candidate to be dealt. Last week, the Tampa Bay Times' Marc Topkin suggested Ramirez as a possible trade candidate, noting that Ramirez could have value as a starter with another team.

After 27 starts in 2015, Ramirez was moved to the bullpen in 2016. He finished the season with a 3.77 ERA and 1.28 WHIP, going 7-11 in 64 games (one start). The right-hander struck out 63 in 90 2/3 innings and posted 15 holds.

Ramirez, 26, is signed to a one-year, $3.13 million deal. He is eligible for arbitration in 2018 and will be a free agent in 2020 at the earliest.

The Rays dealt two members of last year's pitching staff -- both starters -- at the Aug. 1 trade deadline, sending lefties Matt Moore and Drew Smyly to the San Francisco Giants and Seattle Mariners, respectively. Over the winter, Tampa Bay acquired right-handed prospect Jose De Leon from the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for infielder Logan Forsythe.

--Alex Tekip