Rays Rumors

Tampa Bay Rays Could be a Fit for Brett Lawrie

By David Hill
Feb 23, 2017; Glendale, AZ, USA; Chicago White Sox second baseman Brett Lawrie (15) poses for a photo during Spring Training Media Day at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 23, 2017; Glendale, AZ, USA; Chicago White Sox second baseman Brett Lawrie (15) poses for a photo during Spring Training Media Day at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /
facebooktwitterreddit

Yesterday, the Chicago White Sox requested release waivers on Brett Lawrie. As the Tampa Bay Rays have continued to search for a right handed bat, could he be an answer?

Even though Spring Training is underway, the Tampa Bay Rays are still looking for options. They have been seeking a right handed bat for much of the offseason, and had been linked to quite a few players. Even though Logan Morrison was brought back, that need for another bat has not diminished.

The Rays also value defensive flexibility. Brad Miller has seen his primary position change multiple times in the past few months, going from short to first to second. Nick Franklin currently holds the super utility slot on the Rays, and the team is looking to make Tim Beckham into a similar player. The more options for Kevin Cash to use in his lineup, the better.

That makes the news that the Chicago White Sox are set to release second baseman/third baseman Brett Lawrie as interesting as it is. Lawrie fits the mold as a right handed bat, and his defensive flexibility could help as the Rays attempt to find a platoon partner for Morrison.

More from Rays Colored Glasses

Although Lawrie has yet to play first, the transition should not be that difficult. He did spend the greater part of his first five years at third, and performed well there. Otherwise, the Rays could slot Lawrie at second and move Miller to first in order to platoon Morrison.

Singing Lawrie would come with some risks. He struggled in his season with the White Sox, posting a .248/.310/.418 batting line with 12 home runs and 22 doubles. While his power numbers were solid, Lawrie has seen his strikeouts increase over the past two seasons. In fact, his 2016 campaign was such that he was one of the few players to take a pay cut through the arbitration process. Lawrie is also an injury risk, appearing in 130 or more games only once in his five full Major League campaigns.

However, in a bench role, Lawrie could still be a useful part. His experience at second and third could make him a utility infield option, especially if he can learn first base. Add in his pop and decent speed, with 41 steals over his six years, and he could be a nice part of the lineup.

Next: De Leon Hammered, but that is okay

The Tampa Bay Rays may have just seen their right handed bat become available with Brett Lawrie. He could be an interesting player for the Rays to consider.

facebooktwitterreddit