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It shouldn’t be a shock that the Rays are moving on from C.J. Cron

If it seems shocking that a team would actively choose to move on from a player who produced like Cron did in 2018, then you haven’t really been following the Rays.

Tampa Bay Rays v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

2017 was a year of unparalleled success for Logan Morrison. He finished the season with 38 home runs, a wRC+ number of 130 and 3.2 WAR according to FanGraphs. He had himself a breakout season — one that should have netted him a decent-sized payday. Unfortunately for Morrison, he spent 2017 with the Rays and that means that if he was going to be paid, it wasn’t going to come from Tampa Bay.

Instead, Logan Morrison ended up being one of the victims of the astonishingly-slow offseason following the 2017 season and didn’t sign a contract until accepting a one-year, $6.5 million contract from the Twins. 2018 ended up being an ill-fated year for Logan Morrison but the Rays couldn’t have cared less since they got the production they needed out of him and were able to move on to their next source of production.

Tampa Bay ended up getting production from C.J. Cron in 2018. After picking up the former Angels slugger via trade, Cron had a solid season of his own. Cron finished the year with 122 wRC+, 38 home runs and 2.1 WAR by FanGraphs’ measurement. Those were career-highs and it seemed like maybe the Rays had unearthed yet another hidden gem — one who was younger and came for slightly cheaper than the previous gem that they decided to let go.

These are the Rays so you know how this story goes. They designated C.J. Cron for assignment on Tuesday and that will likely end Cron’s time with the Rays. The crew over at DRays Bay did a good job of trying to rationalize the decision. There are plenty of reasons why the Rays chose this path — they may have an upgrade in mind when it comes to free agency, they could feel as if it’s better to give that spot to a prospect who could make Cron look especially expendable or maybe the $5.2 million that he was projected to receive via arbitration was just too rich for their blood.

I’m not going to sit here and argue that C.J. Cron is the next big slugger and that there should be a fierce bidding war for his services. I will say that it shouldn’t be a shock that the Rays decided to let him go. Just ask Logan Morrison and Corey Dickerson about that type of thing when it comes to Tampa Bay.

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