MLB Trade Rumors: Kevin Kiermaier, Joey Wendle 'Being Discussed' in Rays Talks

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVNovember 30, 2021

Tampa Bay Rays Kevin Kiermaier follows through on a double during the eighth inning against the Boston Red Sox during Game 4 of a baseball American League Division Series, Monday, Oct. 11, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
AP Photo/Charles Krupa

The Tampa Bay Rays have reportedly discussed trades involving both infielder Joey Wendle and outfielder Kevin Kiermaier, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

Matt Gelb of The Athletic reported the Philadelphia Phillies have shown interest in Kiermaier.

As Rosenthal noted, the Rays need to clear spots on the 40-man roster in order to make room for free-agent addition Corey Kluber. The two sides reportedly agreed to a one-year deal on Sunday worth up to $13 million.

Kiermaier could be worth moving, as he's owed $12.2 million in 2022, especially considering the team's alternatives in center field, which include Manuel Margot.

The lack of consistency at the plate also makes Kiermaier dispensable, as he hit just .232 with a .298 on-base percentage over the last four seasons. The 31-year-old is coming off a solid 2021 with a .259 average, which is serviceable, considering his elite defense.

He posted 13 defensive runs saved in center field last season, per FanGraphs, and he has totaled 145 runs saved during his nine-year career.

Wendle, meanwhile, could draw interest with his defensive versatility after playing third base, second base and shortstop last season. The 31-year-old earned his first All-Star selection last year and finished with a .265 average, 11 home runs and 54 RBI. 

The Rays likely won't deal starting position players without getting a significant return, but the team has a lot of depth and is looking for ways to stay elite after going 100-62 last season.