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Pham dealt from Cards to Rays for 3 minor leaguers

July 31, 2018

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Tommy Pham was traded by the St. Louis Cardinals to the Tampa Bay Rays, a year after establishing himself as one of the National League’s top outfielders.

St. Louis sent the 30-year-old and $500,000 in international signing bonus allocation to the Rays on Tuesday for a trio of minor leaguers: outfielder Justin Williams, left-hander Genesis Cabrera and right-hander Roel Ramirez.

The move is another dramatic change for a disappointing St. Louis team that entered the day fourth in the NL Central and fired former manager Mike Matheny in mid-July. The Cardinals are likely to miss the postseason for a third straight year for the first time since 1997-99.

Pham has been a member of the Cardinals organization since selected on the 16th round of the 2006 amateur draft. After a series of injuries, the center fielder had a breakout season in 2017 when he hit .306 with 23 homers and 25 steals in 128 games. He was 11th in the NL MVP voting.

Pham is hitting .248 with 14 home runs, 41 RBIs and 10 stolen bases this season. He talked during spring training of a 30-30 season in homers and steals, and hit batted .358 in April. But he dropped to .197 in May and June. Pham is eligible for salary arbitration for the first time next winter.

His departure could lead to more playing time for Harrison Bader, who is hitting .265. The Cardinals also called up outfielder Tyler O’Neill, who is hitting .311 with 26 home runs in 61 games at Triple-A Memphis.

Williams, 22, is a former second-round draft pick and left-handed hitting outfielder who was batting .258 for Triple-A Durham. He made his major league debut this month and was an International League All-Star.

Cabrera, 21, is 7-6 with a 4.12 ERA in 21 games for Montgomery of the Double-A Southern League. Ramirez, 23, was 3-1 with a 3.32 ERA in 26 games as a reliever for Montgomery.

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