After Sunday’s series sweep of the New York Mets at Tropicana Field the Tampa Bay Rays made a trade.
The Rays acquired Wyatt Mathisen from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for cash consideration. Lots of cash and players to be named later going around these last few days.
Mathisen was designated for assignment by the D-Backs earlier in the week and just three days later the Rays swooped in and traded for Mathisen.
So, who is Wyatt Mathisen?
Wyatt Mathisen was selected in the second round of the 2012 MLB Draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Mathisen spent the first seven years of his career in the Pirates organization, playing in every level for the Pirates, except in the majors.
Mathisen became a free agent after the 2018 season and signed a minor-league deal with the D-Backs. In 2019 Mathisen had a huge season in Triple-A, hitting 23 home runs, with 61 RBI’s. His previous high in home runs in a season was 10 back in 2018.
His very solid 2019 Triple-A season led him to the D-Backs 40-Man Roster in 2020. Although he spent most of 2020 at the alternate site, he was called up to the majors and made his MLB debut on September 7th, 2020.
Mathisen got his first hit against the Dodgers on September 9th, 2020 off one of the greatest pitchers to ever play the game.
Mathisen went on to finish the season in the majors and started this season with the team as well. However, it hasn’t been a good start for Wyatt in 2021.
Mathisen played in 23 games for Arizona before being designated, hitting only .119, breaking down to 5-for-42. With that stat, I don’t need to explain much more on that front.
So why would the Rays want Wyatt Mathisen?
My guess is this, but first, let me start with a question. What do Joey Wendle, Yandy Diaz, and Mike Brosseau all have in common? I’ll give you a hint, the same thing as Ben Zobrist, Logan Forsythe, and Taylor Motter back in the day. They all play/played all over the field.
So far in 2021 Mathisen has played first, third, left field, and even pitched. So maybe that will give you an idea of his appeal to the Rays.
The after trading for Mathisen the Rays will send him to Triple-A Durham, but I imagine we will see Wyatt at some point this season. With his ability to play the corner infield spots, and the outfield, I imagine he will be a quick call-up if an injury forces the Rays’ hand.