In Confusing Transactions That Must Mean Something Else is Brewing: Rays Dump Dickerson for Cron (UPDATES: Odorizzi to Twins)

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In Confusing Transactions That Must Mean Something Else is Brewing: Rays Dump Dickerson for Cron (UPDATES: Odorizzi to Twins)

Chicago Cubs

Hey, here’s a weird one:

Cron, 28, was league average with the bat last year, but has been a touch better in the years before that. He’ll cost just $2.3 million in 2018, and completely makes sense as a Rays first baseman. I get that part.

But the part where the Rays are DFA’ing Corey Dickerson to make room – it’s a roster swap in that respect – is the odd part. Dickerson, 28, hit .282/.325/.490 last year and was worth 2.6 WAR. He avoided arbitration with the Rays back in January at $5.95 million, so he’s under contract. Dickerson is probably better and more valuable than Cron.

The most logical assumption here is that the Rays all but have a trade for Dickerson lined up, and had to complete this transaction with the Angels first (maybe the Angels insisted, maybe there were physicals to consider, who knows).

It would be very hard to imagine the Rays were just going to dump Dickerson for nothing when maybe they could have just parked him at first base (he’s an average-ish defensive outfielder by trade). So, again, I’ve gotta assume there’s something else brewing here. Logistically, the Rays will have seven days from now to trade, waive, or release Dickerson.

The Rays have been very focused on cutting salary (like when you trade the face of your franchise, Evan Longoria, to save some cash, even though payroll is barely $80 million), so if they can move Dickerson, that’ll save a few million right there in the drop down to Cron. Package Dickerson with a pitcher like Jake Odorizzi or Alex Colome? And they’re all set for cost-cutting for the season. Probably. Right?

Stay tuned.

UPDATE: Yup, this would make plenty of sense, especially if there’s pitching in the deal going to Minnesota, too:

UPDATE 2: And sure enough, there’s pitching headed to Minnesota:

But is Dickerson going, too? That has not been said yet explicitly, though it’s gotta be, right? Or he’s going somewhere else in a deal that’s somehow related to the Odorizzi trade. Right? I mean … otherwise, it’s still a head-scratcher.

As for Odorizzi, he’s a buy-low candidate for the Twins, who are in desperate need of pitching. And it might take away another landing spot for guys like Alex Cobb and Lance Lynn.

UPDATE 3: That’s an interesting way to put pressure on trade partners, but I guess it kinda make sense given the late date:

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.