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Rays designate C.J. Cron for assignment

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The Rays announced on Tuesday that 1B/DH C.J. Cron was among the players designated for assignment in order to make room on the 40-man roster ahead of the Rule 5 draft.

Cron, 28, is coming off of a great offensive season for the Rays, batting .253/.323/.493 with 30 home runs and 74 RBI in 560 plate appearances. However, Cron is in his second of three years of arbitration eligibility. Cron was due a raise on his $2.3 million salary from 2018. MLB Trade Rumors projects him to earn $5.2 million in 2019.

Designating Cron is an odd move until you realize it’s the Rays, who have really milked the “small-market” brand for all it’s worth. Earlier this year, the club controversially designated outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment in order to create roster space for Cron when they acquired him from the Angels. Dickerson ended up getting traded to the Pirates and had a fine year himself, earning $5.95 million.

It’s also worth noting that bat-only 1B/DH types have been devalued across the league over the last several seasons as teams have become legitimately acclimated with analytics. As a result, another team — likely a fellow American League team — can attempt to work out a trade with the Rays for Cron’s services and could acquire him very cheaply.

White Sox shut down Lucas Giolito for remainder of season

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The Athletic’s James Fegan reports that the White Sox are shutting down starter Lucas Giolito for the remainder of a season. An MRI revealed a mild lat strain, which typically comes with a three- to four-week recovery timetable. The third-place, 65-84 White Sox have nothing left to play for, so it makes sense to play it safe with their prized young hurler.

Giolito, 25, had a breakout season. He went 14-9 with a 3.41 ERA and a 228/57 K/BB ratio in 176 2/3 innings. He made his first All-Star team and will likely earn a few downballot votes for the AL Cy Young Award.

Giolito was scheduled to start Tuesday’s series opener against the Twins. Ross Detwiler will start in his place opposite Martín Pérez.