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Trade Discovery Ray by Joey Wendle, Kevin Kiermaier

The Rays are exploring the commercial market for both Joey Wendle and center operator Kevin Kiermaier, tweets Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Early this morning, The Athletic’s Matt Gelb reports that the Phillies had commercial talks around Kiermaier as they continued to look for an option at the center school.

Wendle, 31, is one of the Rays’ giant 19 referee-eligible players entering the season, and teams have until 8 p.m. ET tonight to determine whether to sign players. that or not. MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz projects a $4 million salary for Wendle next season, but the Rays delve deeper into on-court talent with the likes of Wander Franco, Brandon Lowe, Yandy Diaz and prospects Vidal Brujan and Taylor Walls.

There is little chance that the Rays will not bid on Wendle. He is on a solid .265 / .319 / .422 run (106 wRC+) through 501 appearances in 2021, and aside from his contributions with the bat, he has played the room. above average in every second, third and last stop. He’s also controlled the other two seasons through refereeing, so a team that needs help on second and/or third base would certainly be intrigued by the possibility of a deal with the Rays.

Kiermaier was in a completely different situation. The 31-year-old is entering the guaranteed final season of a six-year, $53.5 million contract extension and will earn $12 million next season (plus a purchase of at least $2, $5 million for a $13 million option for the 2023 campaign). His name has been thrown in the rumor mill for years now, largely because his salary naturally increased during the later period of that extension.

Although Kiermaier has struggled to stay fit throughout his MLB career, it’s clear why a Phillies club that has been defensively tight for several years would be interested in adding him to the mix. . While fit, Kiermaier was among the best defensive players on the planet, regardless of position. And while he’s inconsistent with the bat, his .243/.321/.401 composite hit from 2016 is only about 5% below the wRC+ average. Kiermaier also offers rich value on base paths, as evidenced in part by a 77% success rate on stolen base attempts during that time.

The Phillies have about $171 million in pay commitments for the 2022 season and a roughly identical milestone in luxury tax obligations, Per Roster Resource’s Jason Martinez. Kiermaier will add $12 million to their final payroll but only about $8.91 million to their luxury ledger, thanks to the nature of his contract renewal.

Philadelphia has been looking for an upgrade in the center field for several years now and has missed the top free agent Starling Marte this winter. Phils is also interested in Minnesota’s Byron Buxton, but the Twins signed him to a 7-year extension with a full no-trade clause, certainly ending the book on any such possibility.

It makes sense, at least, that the Phils might be interested in a combo deal with the Rays that would send both Kiermaier and Wendle to the City of Brotherly Love. The Phillies have been closely tied to internal upgrades, and while it’s not reported to be a top priority for them, Wendle will provide them with some coverage on the left side of the field, where both Didi Gregorius and Alec Bohm the lackluster season is coming to an end.

The Rays have a full 40-man squad and still need to make room for the official addition of right-hand man Corey Kluber, who agreed to a one-year, $8 million deal with Tampa Bay on Sunday.

Source link Trade Discovery Ray by Joey Wendle, Kevin Kiermaier

Jake Nichol

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