The Tampa Bay Rays have traded outfielder Corey Dickerson to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for right-handed pitcher Daniel Hudson, minor league infielder Tristan Gray and cash considerations.
Dickerson was acquired by the Rays from the Colorado Rockies in January 2016 in the Jake McGee trade. He was voted to be the starting DH of the 2017 All-Star Game after boasting a 139 wRC+ in the first half.
In two seasons with the club, he hit .265/.310/.480 with 51 home runs and 132 RBI in 298 games, but had a rough go in the second half of 2017. Dickerson was a fan favorite, but considered redundant on the Rays roster given the presence of acquired OF Denard Span.
Early reports indicated the Rays would have difficulty finding a trade partner for Dickerson with several outfielders left on the market, but this agreement is beneficial for all parties. The Rays add much needed bullpen experience, and fan favorite Dickerson finds a home on a major league roster.
The #Rays Sr VP/GM Erik Neander explained that DFA of Dickerson was not something he deserved, but based on market it expedited the process & allowed a deal to occur— Neil Solondz (@neilsolondz) February 22, 2018
Daniel Hudson, 30, went 2-7 with a 4.38 ERA (61.2-IP, 30-ER) in a career-high 71 appearances in 2017, his only season with the Pirates. He was previously connected with the Rays last off-season to compete for a closing role in Pittsburgh. The season did not go as planned, but in 46 appearances from June 2 through the end of the season, he posted a 3.43 ERA (39.1-IP, 15-ER) and .211 opponents’ average.
Hudson is owed $5.5 million for 2018, and his salary will be offset by the cash considerations received in the trade.
Tristan Gray was selected by the Pirates in the 13th round of the 2017 draft out of Rice University. In his first professional season, he hit .269/.329/.486 (56-for-208) with 12 doubles, six triples, seven home runs in 53 games. His performance earned an appearance in the New York-Penn League All-Star Game, where he won the event’s MVP award after going 2-for-2 with a solo homer and RBI single. Following the season, he was ranked by Baseball America as the No. 19 prospect in the New York-Penn League.
Appraisals of Gray’s future will range from unheralded bat to mere organizational depth. His profile is all about the 6’3” infielder’s left handed bat, as he’s already limited to second without great defensive grades. How you feel about this trade depends on whether you think Gray’s performance in short season was a sign of things to come.