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Tampa Bay Rays News and Links: [Trying to think of anything but Nelson Cruz]

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Seattle Mariners v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Yes, we also titled our news and links about Cruz just two days ago. Guess what: He’s literally all Rays fans can think about right now.

He’s like the girl/guy who moved here the last week of the school year, and now it’s summer and you’ve had to wait three long months before seeing her/him again, and you’re literally counting down the seconds until you get to see this person. Except in this scenario there’s a chance he/she ends up in Houston or Minnesota for the next school year.

Cruz would be the perfect final puzzle piece to a Rays lineup that is shaping up reallllly nicely. Slotting him behind Tommy Pham in the middle of the lineup would give Pham extra protection and push the lineup from B+ to A.

Only 10 players in MLB history have matched their age in terms of home runs in their age-37 season, with Cruz among them, joining names like Aaron, Bonds, and Ruth (and also, weirdly, Hank Sauer).

Now if the Rays miss out on Cruz, we can move right into the bargaining stage where we point out that Cruz has seen his batting average drop each of the past four seasons, and his 2018 slugging percentage being the lowest since 2013. We can point to his games played finally slipping from his consistent 155 games a season down to 144 last season and note that those nine players in the “37 homers at age 37” group averaged only 24.33 home runs in their age-38 seasons, with not a single one of them topping their age-37 output.

But these rationalizations can come if Cruz goes elsewhere. For now, full steam ahead on the Let’s Get Cruz ship.

Rays Links

  • For whatever it may be worth, Jim Bowden has the Rays as the top fit for the aforementioned Cruz.
  • Speaking of The Athletic, Tommy Rancel’s offseason series continues by looking at the outfield situation in Tampa Bay.
  • Effectively Wild had Rays prospect, Rick Teasley, on their pod to discuss striking out the legendary Willians Astudillo twice in one game, among other subjects:

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