C.J. Cron has clobbered 55 homers and 152 RBIs over the past two years. Cron has hit a home run every 17 at-bats over the past two years. He was set to earn nearly $7MM in 2020, which isn’t a bad value for a guy that slugged .493 and .469 in ’18 and ’19.
Cron is a familiar face in Saint Pete, as he made a mark with the Rays in 2018 having his best-season as a pro slashing .253/.323/493 with his first 30 home run season in 501 ABs. Whether he was in a part-time role or getting steady playing time, Cron has been a consistent slugger across six years with a career slugging percentage of .462.
In a season that saw the Minnesota Twins set a record for most homers in a season, they have an excess of power suppliers. Cron was expendable as they decided they could but his $7MM to better use. As a result, somebody is going to get a big-time power bat. The Rays are in the market for just such a bat. The only drawback is he doesn’t present much defensive versatility. He will be stuck in a platoon at first and some DH-duties.
While he would be a great extension to the lineup, it would leave only Yandy Diaz as the only impact bat at third base. It seems like an outfielder or a guy with the ability to play both third and first would be a better fit, but there aren’t many options that pack a punch as strong as Cron’s.