Corey Dickerson DFA'd by Rays After They Acquired C.J. Cron via Trade

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 18, 2018

Tampa Bay Rays' Corey Dickerson watches his home run off Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Danny Barnes during the eighth inning of a baseball game Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

The Tampa Bay Rays designated 2017 All-Star Corey Dickerson for assignment Saturday after acquiring first baseman C.J. Cron from the Los Angeles Angels for a player to be named later.

Splitting time between the outfield and designated hitter last season, Dickerson hit .282 with a career-high 27 home runs and 62 RBI for the Rays.

Cron hit .248 with 16 homers and 56 RBI in 100 games for the Angels in 2017.

Dickerson struggled a bit during the second half last season with a .241 batting average and .282 on-base percentage, but cutting ties with the 2017 American League All-Star starter at DH is a head-scratching move.

MLB.com's Michael Baron questioned the decision based on Dickerson's value last season and his relatively low cost at $5.95 million in 2018:

Michael Baron @michaelgbaron

Corey Dickerson was just DFA’d by the #Rays to make room for CJ Cron via a trade from the #Angels for a PTBNL. Dickerson was a 2.7 WAR player in 2017 ($5.95m in 2018). Cron, a 0.8 WAR player in 2017 ($2.3m in 2018). That’s official.

Also, Joe Trezza of MLB.com wondered if there was more than meets the eye regarding the move:

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Joe Trezza @JoeTrezz

Corey Dickerson swings at everything, so he's streaky as hell. But he also has great eye-hand coordination, power to all fields, sneaky speed and a small price tag. The has to be something we don't know about behind the Rays releasing him for C.J. Cron.

Kyle Glaser of Baseball America called it the "strangest DFA [he] can remember."

"We've had enough conversations where we felt this was best way to get things resolved for him and for us," Rays general manager Erik Neander said, per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reported that the Rays and Minnesota Twins have made an undisclosed trade and speculated that Dickerson could potentially be involved in that.

The 28-year-old Dickerson spent the past two seasons in Tampa after playing three seasons with the Colorado Rockies.

Dickerson hit better than .300 in two of his three campaigns in Colorado, and he has hit 24 or more home runs in a season on three occasions.

All told, Dickerson is a .280 career hitter with 90 home runs in five MLB seasons.

Cron, 28, has hit exactly 16 homers for the Angels in each of three consecutive seasons. In four MLB campaigns, he is a .248 hitter with 59 homers.

With Dickerson out of the picture, Cron will likely DH for the Rays with Brad Miller at first base, and the trio of Mallex Smith, Kevin Kiermaier and Steven Souza Jr. comprising the outfield.

In L.A., Cron's departure will allow Albert Pujols to play more first base when Shohei Ohtani serves as the designated hitter.

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