The Rays have acquired first baseman C.J. Cron from the Angels for a player to be named later, both teams annonuced. In a surprising corresponding move, Tampa also announced that outfielder Corey Dickerson has been designated for assignment to create roster space. Cron had been noted as a potential trade candidate for much of the winter, especially after the Angels signed Shohei Ohtani and Zack Cozart. Ohtani’s presence in the DH mix meant more planned first base time for Albert Pujols, and Cozart’s installation as the everyday third baseman left Luis Valbuena floating between third and first. With Cron’s departure, the Halos can now use Pujols at DH and Valbuena at first base, with Pujols shifting to first a couple of times per week to give Ohtani a chance to hit. Jefry Marte is also on hand as inexpensive corner infield depth. “With the construction of our roster and the personnel we have in place for this upcoming season, we have to place a premium on flexibility and maneuverability within our position player group,” Angels GM Billy Eppler told reporters, including Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register. Cron is only a first baseman and was out of options, leaving him the odd man out on a three-man Angels bench (necessitated by the likelihood of the team carrying 13 pitchers). Never quite a regular in the Angels lineup over his four MLB seasons, Cron has hit .262/.307/.449 with 59 homers over 1475 career plate appearances. As per Fangraphs’ wRC+ metric, Cron has created seven percent more runs (107 wRC+) than the average hitter over that same stretch, despite a lack of on-base ability. He is also something of a reverse-splits hitter from the right side of the plate, with a career .772 OPS against right-handers and only a .716 OPS against southpaws.
Rays Acquire C.J. Cron, Designate Corey Dickerson
MLB Trade Rumors | Feb 18