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Tampa Bay Rays trade target: Tigers’ utility-man, Niko Goodrum

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TORONTO, ON - MARCH 28: Niko Goodrum #28 of the Detroit Tigers hits a double in the tenth inning on Opening Day during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on March 28, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - MARCH 28: Niko Goodrum #28 of the Detroit Tigers hits a double in the tenth inning on Opening Day during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on March 28, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /
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DETROIT, MICHIGAN – AUGUST 09: Niko Goodrum  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MICHIGAN – AUGUST 09: Niko Goodrum  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

Niko Goodrum

Playing the last two seasons with the Detroit Tigers, Goodrum has proven to be a productive player and could be a perfect fit with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Drafted by the Twins in the second round of the 2010 draft out of Fayette County High School, Goodrum signed and later made his debut with the Twins in 2017. His Twins tenure was short-lived though and he opted for free agency after the Twins chose to outright him to AAA that offseason. Goodrum later with the Tigers and quickly became an everyday player.

After only appearing in 11 games with the Twins in 2017, Goodrum appeared in 243 games across the last two seasons in Detroit. During his time with the Tigers he has been worth 3.1 bWAR.

Goodrum’s numbers from ’18-’19:

  • 243 G
  • .247/.318/.427
  • .745 OPS // 97 OPS+
  • 28 HR // 98 RBI
  • 56 2B // 8 3B // 24 SB

In 131 games in 2018 he hit 16 bombs and slugged .432. Last season he appeared in 112 games and slugged .421 with 12 bombs, but he reached base at a higher clip.

While a majority of his plate appearances came as a left haded hitter facing right-handed pitching, his numbers as a right-handed hitter facing left-handed pitching last season were very good.

As a RHH vs LHP:

  • 97 AB
  • .361/.411/.515
  • .927 OPS

Yes, 11 of his 12 homeruns came against right-handed pitching last season, but so did roughly 2/3 of his at-bats. If the Rays believe that he can experience sustained success against left-handed pitching, they could see an up-tick in his power from the right side along with fantastic production.

Even more appealing than his numbers from the right side of the plate is his control. He will reach arbitration eligibility next season and subsequently won’t reach free agency until the 2024 season.

His ability to play practically anywhere on the field along with his numbers against southpaws, albeit a small sample size, make him a perfect fit for the Rays. Furthermore, his price tag shouldn’t be all that high and the Rays have a ton of players a rebuilding team would be interested both in the minors and at the major league level.

The folks at Motor City Bengals and I discussed what it would take for the Rays to acquire Goodrum and we put together a trade proposal and discussed it…

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