Atlanta had to make a roster move today to make room for Alex Wood. And to do so they blew up their 3B platoon:
Chris Johnson will be the everyday third baseman now.
Francisco was hitting .241/.287/.398 with five homers in 35 games, but had fallen off pretty sharply in May. Johnson is hitting .346/.380/.492 with three homers, though obviously that’s not sustainable. A tough decision for the Braves to lose a lefty with some pop, but it’s probably the decision I’d make too if forced to choose between them.
Earlier this offseason the Rays traded away franchise player Evan Longoria. Over the weekend they traded starter Jake Odorizzi to the Twins and designated All-Star outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment. These were clearly financially driven moves, and now the Rays sport a payroll of less than $70 million. The club’s offseason moves prompted Longoria to say that he feels sorry for Rays fans.
If you asked Rays brass, I’m sure they’d make strong statements defending all of these moves while offering evidence-light arguments that, yes, they truly are interested in fielding a competitive team in 2018. They would likely react VERY angrily to any suggestion that they are tanking this year. Teams never admit that they’re tanking.
In other news, the Rays announced a new blog: