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Tampa Bay Rays: Mikie Mahtook Traded to the Detroit Tigers

By Althea Pashman
Sep 20, 2016; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays left fielder Mikie Mahtook (27) at bat against the New York Yankees at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 20, 2016; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays left fielder Mikie Mahtook (27) at bat against the New York Yankees at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Tampa Bay Rays  have traded outfielder Mikie Mahtook to the Detroit Tigers for a player to be named later and or cash.

With the imminent official announcements coming any day on the signings of outfielder Colby Rasmus and relief pitcher Shawn Tolleson, and the 40-man roster maxed out, the Tampa Bay Rays opened one spot by trading Mikie Mahtook to Detroit for a player to be named later and or cash.

Mahtook was selected by the Rays as the 31st overall pick in the 2011 MLB Draft, making a very impressive debut slashing .295/.351/.619 with nine home runs, 22 runs scored, five doubles, one triple and 19 RBI in just 115 at-bats (41 games) in 2015.

However, his September 2015 call-up made everyone take notice as he slashed .353/.397/.706 with 7 home runs over the final 24 games of the season. Mahtook spent the majority of 2015 at Triple-A Durham where he hit .249 with 35 runs scored, 27 doubles, three triples, four home runs and 45 RBI in 98 games.

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Nonetheless, his 2015 success was left behind as he struggled at the plate throughout the season appearing in just 65 games 50 of them starts that came sandwiched between a stint on the disabled list and a return to Triple-A Durham after sustaining a fractured hand after being hit by a pitch in June.

Of the 50 starts (17-RF, 17-CF, and 16-RF), he hit .195/.231/.292 (36-for-185) with three home runs, nine doubles, 16 runs scored and 11 RBI. Over his final 24 games (20 starts) of the season, he hit .276 (21-for-76).

Mahtook no longer figured in the Rays plans, and became expendable with their recent acquisitions of outfielders Mallex Smith who came aboard from the Mariners in the Drew Smyly trade, and the impending signing of free agent Colby Rasmus.

Speculation is that Rasmus, Kevin Kiermaier and Steven Souza Jr. are projected as the main three outfielders, with Smith, Corey Dickerson and Nick Franklin all vying for playing time as backup outfielders.

At this time, the Rays have just one open spot on their 40-man roster, which will go to either Rasmus or Tolleson – depending on which deal is made official first before needing to make another roster move to accommodate either player.

Next: Tampa Bay Rays: Finalizing Deal with Shawn Tolleson

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It is too early to make any assumptions, but I would expect another trade, which could include a starter (Alex Cobb or Jake Odorizzi) as well another player (Tim Beckham) to provide the opening on the 40-man roster.

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