Derek Jeter denied a National League Gold Glove award

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Derek Jeter won his fifth American League Gold Glove yesterday, but in a tremendous slight to the future Hall of Famer he’s been denied the National League version of the award.

Jeter not actually playing in the NL perhaps made it difficult to honor him, but then again Jeter not actually being a good defensive shortstop didn’t keep the AL from giving him the hardware.

Here are the NL winners:

C – Yadier Molina, Cardinals
1B – Albert Pujols, Cardinals
2B – Brandon Phillips, Reds
SS – Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies
3B – Scott Rolen, Reds
OF – Shane Victorino, Phillies
OF – Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies
OF – Michael Bourn, Astros
P – Bronson Arroyo, Reds

Nothing close to yesterday’s Jeter craziness and in fact I’d say the NL did a pretty solid job as a whole.

Ryan Zimmerman won the award at third base last season only to be displaced by Rolen this year. I tend to think Zimmerman is the best defensive third baseman in baseball right now, but Rolen held that title for a long time and he’s still very, very good. It’s his eighth career Gold Glove.

Phillips over Chase Utley at second base is questionable based on advanced defensive metrics, but Utley’s defensive reputation has never quite matched his numbers and Phillips is plenty good.

Jay Bruce, Jason Heyward, and Chris Young are among the outfield snubs and it’s interesting that Carlos Gonzalez gets his first Gold Glove despite the voters’ previous tendency to pick “outfielders” rather than a left fielder, a center fielder, and a right fielder.

Zimmerman, Adrian Gonzalez, Matt Kemp, Jimmy Rollins, and Adam Wainwright all won a Gold Glove in the NL last season and didn’t get one this year despite remaining the league, with Molina, Bourn, and Victorino the only back-to-back winners.

Evan Longoria: “I just kind of feel sorry for the Rays fan base.”

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The Rays were busy over the weekend, trading starter Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, designating All-Star outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment, and then picking up C.J. Cron in a deal with the Angels. The Rays saved about $4 million — Odorizzi’s $6.3 million less Cron’s $2.3 million salary — and picked up a prospect. They’re still on the hook for Dickerson’s $5.95 million salary until they can find a trade partner, which seems likely.

Those are some head-scratching moves if you’re a Rays fan or a member of the Rays. Dickerson hit .282/.325/.490 with 27 home runs, 62 RBI, and 84 runs scored in 629 plate appearances last season, part of which resulted in his first trip to the All-Star Game. Designating him for assignment is strictly a financial move, assuming he can be traded. The Rays are currently operating with a payroll below $70 million. This comes just a week and a half after Rays ownership proposed the public footing most of the bill for the club’s new stadium. And the Rays had traded third baseman Evan Longoria — then the face of the franchise — to the Giants earlier this offseason.

Longoria expressed sympathy for Rays fans for having to put up with this. Via Andrew Baggarly, Longoria said of the curious Dickerson move, “I just kind of feel sorry for the Rays fan base. … I’m not going to take too many shots but it’s pretty obvious that guy is a valuable player and didn’t deserve to be DFAd. Corey was our best player last year.”

Longoria isn’t quite on the money there. By WAR, Dickerson ranked fifth among position players on the team, according to Baseball Reference. FanGraphs is also in agreement. Still, it’s indisputable that Dickerson, who turns 29 years old this May, more than pulled his weight. The Rays do not have a surfeit of starting outfielders, so it wasn’t like they were making room for other capable players. Mallex Smith, who put up a .684 OPS in 282 PA last year, is slated to start in left field at the moment. Designating Dickerson for assignment, as well as trading Longoria and Odorizzi, were simply cost-cutting decisions.

The Rays’ M.O. has been part of the problem leading to the current stagnant free agent market (sans Eric Hosmer‘s eight-year deal on Saturday). Teams like the Rays, Phillies, Reds, and Tigers have been explicitly putting out non-competitive teams in order to facilitate a rebuilding process. Longoria is right to express sympathy for Rays fans, who see their favorite team worsening a roster that went 80-82 last year. The Rays haven’t finished at .500 or above since 2013 and doesn’t figure to halt the streak this year.