With the reported deal that has former Colorado Rockies outfielder, Corey Dickerson heading to the Tampa Bay Rays, Tampa has finally added that spark in their lineup that can complement third baseman, Evan Longoria and perhaps take some weight off his shoulders. Colorado, in return for Dickerson, will receive reliever, Jake McGee ,along with a minor league pitcher. This may cause a bit of confusion for some Colorado fans, mostly because their biggest need is starting pitching. Also, Colorado inked former “closer-to-be” Adam Ottavino to a three-year, $10.4 million dollar deal earlier this winter. Ottavino, who should be ready around the All-Star break after undergoing Tommy John Surgery eight months ago, will be receiving $1.3 million in 2016, $2.1 million in 2017, and $7 million in 2018 before becoming a free-agent in 2019. Now, with McGee in the loom, it should be obvious that he takes over the closer role for the upcoming season. McGee is set to make $4.8 million this year and will be eligible for arbitration in 2017, and can become a free-agent in 2018. McGee has a career ERA of 2.77 with a K/9 of 11.1. Ottavino, on the other hand, has a career ERA of 3.88 with only four career saves. It is safe to say that McGee will be taking over as the full-time closer in Colorado.
Tampa Bay has been desperate for a bat, and with the acquisition of Dickerson, the wait may finally be over. Dickerson, 27 in May, broke out in his sophomore campaign back in 2014 when he hit .312/.364/.567 with 24 home runs and 76 runs batted in. Dickerson was keen to keep the rally going in 2015, however, he was plagued by an injured foot that held him to only 65 games. In those 65 games, he still batted .304/.333/.356, which isn’t bad considering he was getting on base once in every three at-bats. Dickerson will be a hit or miss for Tampa and at only 27, he can still blossom into one of the leagues best hitters.
The Tampa Bay Rays projected lineup for the 2016, according to RosterResource.com goes as follows:
*Stats are from 2015 season*
- CF Kevin Kiermaier .263/.298/.420
- 2B Logan Forsythe .281/.359/.444
- 3B Evan Longoria .270/.328/.435
- RF Corey Dickerson .304/.333/.356 with Colorado Rockies
- LF Desmond Jennings .268/.324/.340
- 1B James Loney .280/.322/.357
- DH Logan Morrison .225/.302/.383 with Seattle Mariners
- C Curt Casali .238/.304/.594
- SS Brad Miller .258/.329/.402 with Seattle Mariners
The Rays will still need to put it all together once the season approaches, and playing in the AL East will not make it easy. The only question marks for this lineup are: Can Longoria find his MVP like swagger again? Can Dickerson stay healthy? And finally, Can Desmond Jennings have a much needed break-out season? All these will be soon answered. All we have to do, as baseball fans, is sit back, relax, and enjoy the beautiful game we all love.