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Tampa Bay Rays discussing Manuel Margot with New York Yankees and Mets, among others

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Toronto Blue Jays v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Mark Taylor/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Rays are going to trade veteran outfielder Manuel Margot, it’s just a question of where to and who for.

Margot, who turned 29 in September, came to the Rays in a trade prior to the 2020 season. Since that time, Margot has been an invaluable part of the Rays roster, both due to his on the field performance and his off the field mentorship of the team’s younger players.

Performance wise, he has been very consistent, hitting .264/.317/.375 with 19 HR over four seasons with Tampa Bay, accruing 4.9 fWAR. He seemed well on his way to breakout campaign in 2022, before a devastating injury cost him most of the season, but during the span of 2021 to 2022, he accrued 3.9 fWAR over 214 games.

Prior to the 2022 season the Rays signed Margot to a contact extension that would pay him $7M in 2023, $10M in 2024, with a mutual $12M option (and a $2M buyout) in 2025.

Margot, then, is still guaranteed at least $12M of his contract.

The Rays meanwhile have a crowded roster and seemingly little playing time available for Margot with the emergence of Jose Siri and Josh Lowe as everyday players alongside Randy Arozarena. The $12M price tag for Margot to be a part time player is steep for the Rays, so they’re looking to offload his contract.

Among the teams that are reportedly vying for Margot are the Rays division rival, the New York Yankees. According to a report from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Rays and Yankees have engaged in multiple conversations this offseason regarding Margot.

Meanwhile, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Yankees also discussed Margot with the Rays leading up to this past trade deadline; Sherman also reports that along with the Yankees, the Mets and at least three other teams have inquired about Margot.

According to Michael Marino, a reporter that has scooped noteworthy stories regarding the Mets in the past, the Rays and Mets had ‘substantial talks’ regarding Margot prior to the 40-man roster deadline on Tuesday.

The next domino to fall this offseason is the non-tender deadline on Friday, when teams have to decide whether or not to offer contracts to their arbitration eligible players.