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Winter Meetings: Rays Targeting Baez

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2015 Winter Meetings getting underway, several free agents have already been signed with the majority of them being relievers who have received somewhat large contracts. Pretty much this entire offseason of Rays rumors has dealt with the team trading away either Jake McGee or Brad Boxberger, or possibly even both of them. But this is the first we've heard of them targeting a certain hitter.

Javier Baez has long been coveted by fans of the Rays, as he was a mainstay on Baseball America's top 100 prospect list throughout his minor league career, ranking 61st in 2012, 16th in 2013, and 5th in 2014. Baez can play any position around the infield with shortstop being his primary position, while he's currently working in the outfield in winter ball, making him quite versatile.

PA AVG OBP SLG HR K% BB% wOBA wRC+
Minors 1,761 .284 .343 .538 95 25.4% 6.5% .387 138
MLB 309 .201 .252 .346 10 38.5% 6.1% .265 65

As the table shows, Baez has been unable thus far in his attempts to translate his minor league numbers to the majors. However, he just turned 23 years old a week ago, so he still has plenty of time to hone his craft. Baez is currently under team control until the 2022 season and isn't due for arbitration until 2019, with 'Super Two' being a possibility in 2018.

Meanwhile, the Cubs are looking for pitching in any deal they make, something the Rays have plenty of.

With the way the reliever market has shaped, McGee and Boxberger's value may be at it's peak so the Rays may actually pull the trigger for the right deal.

It's just day one of the Winter Meetings, so stay tuned for more throughout the day.