5 Free Agents The Tampa Bay Rays Should Be Targeting
By Austin Hart
1B/OF Trey Mancini
Trey Mancini had been a fan favorite of the division rival Baltimore Orioles for years before being shockingly traded to the Houston Astros this year right before the deadline. A versatile athlete that's been known to play both first base and corner outfield, I think he could be a great fit for the Rays, primarily holding down a first base role while being able to move around to right and left field as well to provide relief.
It's been an unfortunate downward trend offensively since he's been with the Astros, and that includes an 0-16 stretch in the playoffs. I think he could truly benefit from a change of scenery and into a more permanent role with the Rays, rather than platoon opportunities in Houston. He was a solid hitter in Baltimore with a very solid hard-hit rate and consistent production, and again, the Rays would likely stand to benefit from what he's able to do offensively. Back to the point I made with José Abreu, the Rays may let Ji-Man Choi go this offseason, but I think Trey could be a very solid option here as a short-term starter.
Mancini's has been one of the greatest feel-good stories in baseball as a cancer survivor, but his on-field ability is definitely that of a key contributor for any team. Houston, in my opinion, isn't sold at all on keeping him around in the long term, especially given his postseason play thus far. However, I still think this could be an opportunity for the Rays to make a move by acquiring a very good player.