Eight walks + seven steals = 7-1 loss for Marlins

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The  Marlins worked seven walks against the Braves’ Tommy Hanson on Wednesday and followed  those up with many of their seven steals, yet they still ended up losing 7-1.

With two apiece from Jose Reyes and Donovan Solano (Hanley Ramirez’s replacement at third base), the Marlins became the first team this year to swipe seven bases in a game. They were 7-for-8 in steal attempts, all while Hanson was in the game. And catcher Brian McCann had nothing to do with the lone caught stealing, as Reyes was caught taking off from second base by Hanson in the third.

It was the first time the Marlins had swiped seven bases in a game since May 27, 2002.  Three of the four teams to do it since 2010 have actually gone on to lose the game.

Hanson walked seven batters in his five innings, making him the first pitcher to walk seven in a win since the Angels’ Ervin Santana did it last Sept. 1. He also struck out seven. He gave up three hits, all of them doubles, but only Justin Ruggiano’s in the third inning did any damage.

The Marlins went on to work just one additional walk in four innings against the bullpen. In all, they struck out 14 times against Hanson, Kris Medlen and Jonny Venters.

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.