In a move that doesn’t seem complete, the Angels have traded C.J. Cron to the Rays for a player to be named later. To make room for Cron, Corey Dickerson was designated for assignment. Dickerson has some recent real-life value, so I think he may end up getting traded.
In Cron, the Rays get a right-handed bat to platoon with Brad Miller at first base or be the DH. Cron was without a job with the additions the Angels made over the offseason. Cron has some home run power (16 in the past two seasons in 450 or fewer PA), but his batting average (.264) and on-base percentage (.316) are lacking. I expect his production to continue with the Rays depending on his plate appearances.
As for the implications for playing time on each team, I’ll start with the easy one, the Angels. The first base job is Luis Valbuena’s, with Albert Pujols getting a few reps when at National League parks. That’s pretty much it.
As for the Rays, what a mess. I’ll just go with the facts, as the possible “what ifs” are endless.
By designating Dickerson for assignment, the Rays seem to be giving up on him. With this move, the Rays’ outfield situation becomes less jumbled, with only Denard Span and Mallex Smith fighting for the last outfield spot and time at DH. The first base playing-time situation is up in the air with Brad Miller and Cron. Miller could move to another spot in the infield. Also, Jake Bauers, who is in the upper minors, is ready to help. Or the Rays could make another move like trading a starting pitcher for a prospect. Who knows right now.
With the playing-time situation being a mess, the only three Rays players I feel comfortable rostering for a full season of plate appearances are Wilson Ramos, Kevin Kiermaier, and Steven Souza. The rest of the positions need to be sorted out first.
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