Rays trade Jake McGee to Rockies for Corey Dickerson
Teams also swap minor leaguers
Colorado's crowded outfield just wasn't big enough for Corey Dickerson.
The Tampa Bay Rays have acquired Dickerson from the Rockies for left-handed reliever Jake McGee in a trade Thursday that also sent a minor leaguer to each team.
The Rays got third baseman Kevin Padlo and Colorado got right-hander German Marquez.
In another move, Tampa Bay reached a one-year deal with free-agent first baseman/outfielder Steve Pearce.
Welcome Cory Dickerson (<a href="https://twitter.com/MCoreyDickerson">@MCoreyDickerson</a>) & Steve Pearce (<a href="https://twitter.com/WayneTwentyOcho">@WayneTwentyOcho</a>). Can't wait to take the field with you guys!—@ChrisArcher42
Colorado had an abundance of left-handed hitting outfielders with the recent signing of Gerardo Parra. In the end, Dickerson, who is not yet eligible for salary arbitration, was deemed expendable over the likes of Carlos Gonzalez and Charlie Blackmon.
The 26-year-old Dickerson hit .304 last year in 65 games with 10 homers and 31 runs batted in. He was limited early in the season because of plantar fasciitis and then later due to broken ribs he sustained while diving for a ball.
"It's always hard to give up somebody that you've enjoyed watching grow up in the organization and who's obviously a very talented hitter," Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich said in a conference call Thursday night. "You have to give up something to get something. He's got a bright future if he can stay healthy."
He's joining a team that also has a surplus of outfielders. Tampa Bay's roster includes Desmond Jennings, Kevin Kiermaier, Steven Souza Jr. and Brandon Guyer. Barring some sort of move, someone will be headed to the role of designated hitter.
Dickerson played mostly left field while with Colorado, a spot where Jennings has been playing. Jennings has been slowed by injuries past two seasons.
McGee becomes another piece as the Rockies try to revamp their bullpen. He turned in his best season two years ago when he went 5-2, with a 1.89 earned-run average and 19 saves in 73 appearances. He started last season on the disabled list after undergoing off-season elbow surgery.
He went 1-2 with a 2.41 ERA and six saves in 39 appearances in 2015.
The 29-year-old agreed this month to a one-year, $4.8 million US contract.
"The departure of Jake leaves a big hole It will be hard to fill," Rays president of baseball operations Matt Silverman said. "It's going to require a couple of guys stepping up … for us to have the type of lock-down bullpen it's going to take to make the playoffs."
Colorado already brought in former closers to two-year contracts, guaranteeing Jason Motte $10 million and Chad Qualls $6 million. Right-handed reliever Adam Ottavino is expected back sometime around the all-star break after undergoing Tommy John surgery last May.
"There's an intent here to continue to bombard this organization with impactful pitching," Bridich explained. "This is simply another example of that.
"Our goal is to win more games, as many as we can possibly win and to do that in part by adding high impact pitching to who we are."
The 19-year-old Padlo spent his first full pro season in Class A. He was a midseason and post-season all-star in the Northwest League.
The 20-year-old Marquez went 7-13 with a 3.56 ERA at Class A Charlotte.
Colorado designated pitcher Christian Friedrich for assignment. The 28-year-old lefty was 0-4 with a 5.25 ERA in a team-high 68 relief appearances last season.
The 32-year-old Pearce hit .218 with 15 home runs and 40 RBIs for Baltimore last season.