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

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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C.J. Cron's thunderous bat made a noise with the Rays that would be heard around the League.
All he does is smash homers. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

C.J. Cron

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.

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