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.
Previous Hot Stove Analysis
Jake Odorizzi Traded to the Twins
Eduardo Nunez Inks Deal with Red Sox
Cardinals Add Bud Norris to Crowded Bullpen
Cubs Get Their Ace, Sign Yu Darvish
Mets Add Todd Frazier on Two-Year Deal
Royals and Athletics Swap Parts
Miami Sends Christian Yelich to Brewers
Blue Jays Acquire Randal Grichuk
Blue Jays Sign Curtis Granderson
Giants Trade for Andrew McCutchen
Twins Grab Their Closer, Sign Addison Reed
Mets Bring Back Jay Bruce on Three-Year Deal
Toronto Acquires Yangervis Solarte from San Diego
Royals, Dodgers, and White Sox Complete Three-Way Trade
Rockies Fill Closer Vacancy with Wade Davis
Arizona Adds Bullpen Depth with Yoshihisa Hirano
Indians Fill First-Base Void with Yonder Alonso
Brewers Bolster Rotation with Jhoulys Chacin
Orioles Lose Zach Britton, Brad Brach Likely Closer
Giants Add Evan Longoria, Rays Create a Mess
Red Sox Bring Back Mitch Moreland
CC Sabathia Returns to Yankees
Dodgers-Braves Make Five-Player Trade
Angels in the Infield: Zack Cozart Signs with Los Angeles
Phillies Ink Carlos Santana to Three-Year Deal
Everyone’s Signing Relievers, But Who Will Close?
Cardinals Finally Get Their Marlins Outfielder
Cubs and Twins Gamble on Smyly and Pineda
Chase Headley Gets Dumped on Padres
Cubs and Cardinals Add Potential Closers
Giancarlo Stanton Joins Yankees
Wellington Castillo Inks Deal with White Sox
Potential Closers Traded: Boxberger and Johnson
Doug Fister Signs with Rangers