The Tampa Bay Rays have an opening at first base and reports are showing that they may be looking to address that need by making a trade with a division rivial.
Per a tweet from Sean McAdam of the Boston Sports Journal, the Rays are showing an interest in Boston Red Sox first baseman Bobby Dalbec.
Not surprisingly, the Red Sox have told teams that Bobby Dalbec is available. Tampa Bay is one team which has expressed some interest.— Sean McAdam (@Sean_McAdam) December 6, 2022
Dalbec, 27, has been in the big leagues since 2020 and already has 45 homeruns over just 273 games played. Power is Dalbec’s main calling card as the rest of his game is well below average. Despite the power he has shown, Dalbec has a career 101 wRC+ with this past season being his worst in the big leagues as he hit .215/.283/.369 with 12 HR over 353 plate appearances.
Most of his struggles however, came against right-handed pitching he mustered a 64 wRC+. He was above average against southpaws, hitting .240/.348/.406 against them over 112 plate appearances.
Dalbec is a statcast darling, which is something the Rays seem to target among their acquisitions. During the 2022 season, Dalbec ranked in the 75th percentile of average exit velocity and the 79th percentile of hard hit percentage.
Defensively, Dalbec is a liability.
Since the start of the 2021 season, he has -13 DRS at first base which is easily the worst of any first baseman over the past two seasons. Nate Lowe is the next closest with -12 DRS, but he has played nearly 1,000 more innings than Dalbec.
The Red Sox have allowed Dalbec to play all over the infield with stints at second base, shortstop, and third base, but the results have been subpar to say the least.
The Rays are looking to address their first base needs, but already have two right-handed hitting players on the roster in Yandy Diaz and Isaac Paredes that would fill the same purpose as Dalbec.