According to Ken Rosenthal (Fox Sports) and Marc Topkin (Tampa Bay Times), the Tampa Bay Rays are in talks with the Rockies regarding a potential trade for Colorado outfielder Corey Dickerson. While a trade may not be inevitable at the moment, it is not hard to see how one could make sense, given that Tampa Bay appears to be in the market for another impact bat.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 26, 2016
The Rockies are in the market for pitching and they pair well with Tampa Bay for either a starter like Jake Odorizzi, or a reliever like LHP Jake McGee. The Rockies have done some offseason bullpen work, however, there’s still room for improvement on their part. A trade of McGee would wipe $4.8-million from the payroll while also mitigating any concerns of a dwindling velocity. For his part, Dickerson was plagued by broken ribs and plantar fasciitis in an injury shortened 2015 season, yet he still hit .304 with an .869 OPS in 65 games. This, after putting together an impressive 2014 season in which he belted 24 homers and drove in 76 RBI in 131 games. Dickerson’s career splits look particularly tantalizing for Tampa Bay, however, one must take the impact that Coors Field has into consideration. As Danny Russell (DRaysBay) indicated, there is an extreme park effect in play here:
By measure of wRC+, Dickerson performed more than 100% better than the average player at home, but performed 17% below average on the road. That differential has improved over the last three seasons, reaching a 105 wRC+ on the road in 2015, but not in a robust sample size (112 PA).
Another caveat of the trade discussions, the log-jam in the outfield. If the Rays were to acquire Dickerson, it would add to their glut of outfielders ― Desmond Jennings, Brandon Guyer, Kevin Kiermaier, Steven Souza Jr., and Steve Pearce ― thus necessitating a trade. On the bright side, however, one of the aforementioned outfielders already has a suitor ― the Chicago Cubs. Bruce Levine (CBS Sports Chicago) confirmed Chicago’s interest in Jennings on Tuesday:
The players the Cubs have had interest in include reliever Jake McGee (2.41 ERA, 0.94 WHIP in 2015), starting pitcher Jake Ordorizzi (9-9, 3,35 ERA) and outfielder Desmond Jennings (.268 batting average, .664 OPS in injury-plagued season).
Dickerson, who represents an apt replacement for Jennings (should he be traded), is affordable, won’t be eligible for arbitration until next season, and is under team control until 2020. Just Imagine his projected .299 BA/.338 OBP/.514 SLG/.852 OPS/.222 ISO/.333 BABIP slash line nestled nicely in the Rays batting order…I digress. Whatever the case, things could get interesting over the next few days. Keep checking back for more details on this story.
― Jason Hanselmann (The Process Report) gave his thoughts on Dickerson, concluding that he’s “A gifted hitter that has struggled with injuries (plantar fasciitis, broken ribs in 2015), and is a minus even in the corner outfield due to a chicken wing and the thighs to match.” By all means, check out Hanselmann’s well thought out piece that’s linked above.