Free agent catcher Adam Moore has signed a minor-league contract with the Rays, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN. The deal includes an invitation to spring training, where Moore will presumably be in the mix for a backup role behind Wilson Ramos and Jesus Sucre. The club has yet to confirm the deal.
Moore, 33, has not appeared in a major league role since 2016. He played a full season for the Indians’ Triple-A affiliate in 2017, batting a limp .238/.313/.369 with eight home runs and a .682 OPS in 276 plate appearances. There’s nothing to suggest that he’ll luck into a full-time gig with the Rays in 2018, as he hasn’t seen more than 30 games at the big league level since his 60-game stint with the 2010 Mariners.
The Rays are expected to push forward with a Ramos/Sucre platoon this season, but could get some value out of Moore as an emergency backup option. They also have less polished options in 22-year-old backstop Nick Ciuffo, who ranked no. 27 among the club’s top prospects in 2017, and 23-year-old Brett Sullivan, who transitioned to a role behind the plate in 2016 and is still waiting for his defense to catch up to the .294 average he debuted in the minors last year.
The Rays have acquired first baseman C.J. Cron from the Angels for a player to be named later, the teams announced Saturday. In a corresponding move, the Rays cleared a roster spot for Cron by designating outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment.
Cron wasn’t expected to factor prominently in the Angels’ plans for 2018, especially given the recent addition of pitcher/hitter Shohei Ohtani and the projected Luis Valbuena/Albert Pujols combo at first base. The 28-year-old infielder wasn’t overly impressive during his fourth season in Anaheim, either, slashing .248/.305/.437 with 16 home runs and 0.5 fWAR through 373 plate appearances in 2017. He’ll give the Rays a platoon option with fellow first baseman Brad Miller, though neither Cron nor Miller have looked particularly adept against left-handed pitching lately.
Dickerson, meanwhile, is coming off of a banner season with the Rays. The 29-year-old outfielder enjoyed his first All-Star nomination in 2017, rounding out the year with a .282/.325/.490 batting line and career-best 27 home runs and 2.6 fWAR in 629 PA. Some have already speculated that a trade is in the works; barring that, it’s a head-scratching move to make considering his clear offensive value to the team.