Hank Blalock In "Serious Talks" With Tampa Bay Rays

Considering the source is once again Jon Heyman, it could very well be true. Or it could be Scott Boras using the Rays as a negotiating tool; however, the Rays reportedly are not interested in a bidding war and the closest competition is the Florida Marlins.That said, remember that Jose Julio Ruiz and Blalock are just the latest to be linked with the Rays and we've seen no targeted players actually sign yet.

We've covered Blalock twice before, here and more recently here. He's a decent hitter (.269/.329/.465 AVG/OBP/SLG career) and has legit 25 home run power. He is also due for some positive regression in terms of batting average in balls in play (BABIP). His BABIP dipped to a career low .245 last season; Blalock's career number is .296. There are some noted flaws as he comes with injury concerns, a declining walk rate (5.3% last season) and an increasing strikeout rate (23.4% last season). 

I compared him to Carlos Pena this week, but would not expect a Carlos Pena-esque breakout; those things just don't happen normally. If Blalock turns out to be Eric Hinske or Ty Wigginton, I would take that. Without know any parameters of a potential deal, but we can expect the risk to be very low on the Rays side with the potential reward to be high.

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