The Tampa Bay Rays have been quiet, but the ears have been on the ground long enough to finally figure out where they're stomping around.
Some in game sense DickersonPlantar fasciitis will be OFer #Rockies trade. Will require less of return than Blackmon. #Rays involved, as @TBTimes_Rays said.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 26, 2016
Over the weekend, Marc Topkin noted that talks were ongoing with the Cubs and Rockies, and that the Rays preferred Corey Dickerson to the other Rockies outfielders.
Earlier in the off-season, we examined the Rockies outfielders on the trading block and found Corey Dickerson to be the most reasonable option.
The left-handed hitting Dickerson is under team control until 2020 and owns an excellent split for his career against right-handed pitchers.
Broken ribs and plantar fasciitis derailed his 2015 season, which is why we are defaulting to his career totals from 2013-2015. Limited to 65 games last year, the injury plagued season likely makes his asking price more reasonable than other options on the market.
While Dickerson's career split looks particularly tempting for the Rays, a certain dose of skepticism is needed for any Rockies outfielder. The full effect of Coors Field is on display in his home and away splits against right-handed pitchers:
|Home vs R||344||.488||201||8.4%||16.0%||.373||.426||.733||1.159||21||.360||.401|
|Away vs R||384||.317||83||5.2%||22.9%||.261||.297||.442||.739||14||.181||.305|
There is an extreme park effect in play here. By measure of wRC+, Dickerson performed more than 100% better than the average player at home, but performed 17% below average on the road. That differential has improved over the last three seasons, reaching a 105 wRC+ on the road in 2015, but not in a robust sample size (112 PA).
Another deterrent against a Rays trade with the Rockies is the already jam-packed roster.
The Rays already have several names penciled in the outfield, including Desmond Jennings and Brandon Guyer in left field, Kevin Kiermaier in center field, and Steven Souza Jr. in right field, with Steve Pearce working into the mix.
Landing left fielder Corey Dickerson would necessitate a trade, although the likely candidate already has a suitor. Yesterday Bruce Levine confirmed the Cubs' interest in trading for Desmond Jennings, and per Topkin, the Rays remain actively interested in Javier Baez.
Should the Cubs come calling for Jennings in a deal, Dickerson may be a respectable back-up option for Tampa Bay.
Whatever the case, this could be a wild week.