In a flurry of moves made within hours on Saturday night, the Tampa Bay Rays acquired first baseman C.J. Cron, designed Corey Dickerson and traded Jake Odorizzi.
In a matter of hours, the Tampa Bay Rays have done what they were unable to do during the offseason, which was to reduce payroll. They did just that when they DFAd Corey Dickerson to accommodate first baseman C.J. Cron who they acquired from the Los Angeles Angels for a player to be named later and followed that up with the trade of pitcher Jake Odorizzi to the Minnesota Twins.
The Angels have been shopping Cron during the offseason, primarily because of their offseason addition of Shohei Ohtani and Zack Cozart. Overstaffed with first baseman and the fact that he has no minor league options remaining, Cron was expendable.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times via Twitter tweets that the Rays will be sending a minor league player to Los Angeles to complete the deal.
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The Angels selected Cron in the first round, with the 17th overall selection, of the 2011 Major League Baseball draft and he made his MLB debut with the Angels in 2014. Last season in 100 games, he slashed .248/.305/.437 with 16 home runs. Career wise, Cron’s line is .262 with 59 home runs and 213 RBIs in 408 games.
What can you say about Dickerson who has gone from a 2017 All-Star to DFA who batted .282/.325/.490 with a career-high 27 RBIs last season? Not much, expect shocking and surprised that they could essentially get nothing in return.
One of the higher salaried veterans that the Rays were looking to trade this offseason had no takers, so along with his $5.95 million salary, the Rays decided to go via the DFA route.
"Rays GM Eric Neander: “We’ve had enough conversations where we felt this was best way to get things resolved for him and for us.”"
Because Dickerson is an arbitration eligible player, his salary is not guaranteed and the Rays would only be on the hook for 30-days’ termination pay if he is released after the DFA period of 10 days. If a trade were worked out during the DFA period, the acquiring team would be responsible for his entire salary.
After an offseason and recent days filled with rumors of a trade for Odorizzi came to fruition with a trade to the Minnesota Twins. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo.com via Twitter, the Rays will receive shortstop prospect Jermaine Palacios as part of the package.
Palacios batted .296/.333/.454 with 13 home runs, 67 RBIs, 10 triples, 21 doubles and 20 stolen bases between Class-A Cedar Rapids and Class-A Fort Myers last year.
What to make of the Rays designating Dickerson is definitely surprising, though 30-days termination pay is much cheaper than the $5.95 million they would have had to pay him. Cron will make $2.3 million and totally off the books is Odorizzi and his $6.3 million he just earned via arbitration.
I would have to speculate this is the start of the domino effect – and would think that there will more moves during spring training.