The Tampa Bay Rays have agreed to a one-year, $3.5 million contract with free agent outfielder Avisaíl García. He has a chance to earn an additional $2.5 million in incentives.
Garcia is expected to provide most of his value on the short side of a platoon, either at Designated Hitter or in the outfield, but will have the opportunity to fight for at-bats against right handed pitching along the way.
The former White Sox outfielder was due for a big pay raise in 2019, mostly driven by his four-win season in 2017 that was not repeated, large in part due to a knee injury that plagued his season.
Previous Analysis: Avisail Garcia set for a bounce back season
Whatever his struggles were caused by, Garcia was not lacking in exit velocity last season. Interestingly, according to the Rays press release, Garcia hit nine home runs in a 14-game span from June 26–July 21. He also recorded a multi-homer game on August 5 at Tropicana Field. The Rays will hope he can provide that same power all season long.
To make room on the 40-man roster, right-handed pitcher Oliver Drake was designated for assignment for a second time this off-season. Time will tell whether the Rays are able to sneak Drake through without a waiver claim this time around.
Previous Analysis: Oliver Drake could be a gem