The Rays made a trade on Saturday night, grabbing first baseman C.J. Cron from the Angels for a player to be named later. The corresponding roster move was a head-scratcher, as they have designated All-Star designated hitter Corey Dickerson for assignment.
It's the type of move that makes one do a double-take or shoot back a "come again?" to whoever informs you of the deal, right?
Dickerson, 28, hit .282/.325/.490 (120 OPS+) last season with 33 doubles and 27 homers. He started the All-Star Game as the AL DH. He did struggle in the second half, but he's got a track record of a .280/.325/.504 (119 OPS+) legitimately good MLB hitter in over 2,000 plate appearances.
Cron, 28, kind of lost his place with the Angels thanks to the signing of Shohei Ohtani (who is likely to DH several times a week with Albert Pujols playing first base). He's a career .262/.307/.449 (108 OPS+) hitter. Last season, he hit .248/.305/.437 (99 OPS+) with 16 homers in 373 plate appearances.
Of course, we know the Rays are notorious penny-pinchers and Dickerson was set to make $5.95 million this season while Cron isn't even going to bank half that ($2.3 million). It's a sad state of affairs when a team goes to these lengths to save a few million bucks, especially when they get revenue sharing money and just got $50 million from MLB thanks to the sale of BAMTech.
From here, Cron figures to man first base for the Rays this coming season, replacing outgoing free agent Logan Morrison. It's possible he could fill Dickerson's now-vacated DH spot, too. It'll be one or the other with Brad Miller taking the spot Cron doesn't.
As for Dickerson, it's possible the Rays already have a trade worked out that will send him elsewhere. If not, he'll surely be scooped up rather quickly by someone who could use a power bat.