Rays News

Tampa Bay Rays: Tindering the Non-Tenders, who to swipe right on?

By Seth Carter
MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 14: In this photo illustration, the icon for the dating app Tinder is seen on the screen of an iPhone on August 14, 2018 in Miami, Florida. The co-founders of Tinder and eight other former and current executives of the dating app are suing the service's current owners for at least $2 billion. (Photo illustration by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 14: In this photo illustration, the icon for the dating app Tinder is seen on the screen of an iPhone on August 14, 2018 in Miami, Florida. The co-founders of Tinder and eight other former and current executives of the dating app are suing the service's current owners for at least $2 billion. (Photo illustration by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) /
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Despite being a MI, Russell could find a fit on the infield with the Rays.
Addison Russell misses a ground ball, similar to the way he missed out on a contract from the Cubs Monday.  (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /

Honorable Mentions

Addison Russell

Addison Russell can’t get on base with a career .312 OBP. His 162-game average is 16 HRs and 67 RBI. He doesn’t really fit the need the Rays have in a powerful right-handed bat. He played sparingly last season, but in 130 games in 2018 he only hit five homers.

On the bright side, he is a plus defender who has primarily played at SS. He would could adjust to third, but this one just doesn’t feel like a good fit.

Would Kevin Pillar be a fit in the Rays' OF?
Pillar looks at a home run ball in envy, wishing he could hit more of those himself. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

Kevin Pillar

Kevin Pillar is coming off a career season. At 30-years-old he hit 21 homers with 14 steals and 87 RBIs. The fact is he is not the same defender in CF that he has been in years past and his career OBP is a lackluster .296.

You don’t feel very good about who has not had an on-base percentage over .300 since 2016 (.303) and a single-season high of .314. His power is limited with 21 homers being the peak. He always does a little of this and a little of that but never really a lot of anything. He’s a solid contributor who was worth a 1.0 WAR last season, but the Rays have plenty of solid baseball players, this spot is reserved for an impact power-bat.

It is possible Pillar could provide 25+ homer pop, but it’d be the first time in his career and it would be in his age-31 season.

Pillar has accumulated a total of 60 defensive runs saved in the outfield in his seven Major League seasons. Last year he posted -5 in CF and +2 in RF. The impact is a far cry from his seasons of 22 in 2015, 21 in 2016, and 15 in 2017.

He can be a nice player for someone, but it seems like an unlikely fit for the what the Rays are looking for.

Relievers: Blake Treinen, Ryan Buchter

3B: Maikel Franco

The big dogs are in the next three slides. Please click below.

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