Tampa Bay Rays: Kevin Kiermaier likely next to depart

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 25: Kevin Kiermaier #39 of the Tampa Bay Rays hits a single against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the third inning in Game Five of the 2020 MLB World Series at Globe Life Field on October 25, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 25: Kevin Kiermaier #39 of the Tampa Bay Rays hits a single against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the third inning in Game Five of the 2020 MLB World Series at Globe Life Field on October 25, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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Now that Blake Snell has been dealt, it is just a matter of time before the Tampa Bay Rays ship Kevin Kiermaier elsewhere.

The Tampa Bay Rays have a specific modus operandi when it comes to putting their roster together. Players are signed to long term, team friendly deals, and when they reach a certain price point, they are traded. No one is immune to such treatment; even franchise icon Evan Longoria found himself traded away.

With this conscious method of building a team in mind, and the realization that there are no sacred cows when it comes to the Rays, it is not a surprise that Blake Snell was traded for a package of prospects. Snell had been vocal about his displeasure with such a mindset before with his infamous ‘slapdick prospect’ rant when the Tommy Pham trade was announced last year.

Now that Snell has been traded, Kevin Kiermaier is likely the next member of the Rays to be heading elsewhere. However, Tampa Bay will likely have a more difficult time in dealing their center fielder.

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Kiermaier is due another $23.33 million over the next two years, which does not include either his $13 million team option for 2023 or the $2.5 buyout. The oft-injured outfielder has also struggled with the bat over the past few years, producing a meager .222/.286/.383 batting line in 1006 plate appearances since the start of the 2018 season. He has 24 homers and 37 doubles while stealing 37 bases in that time.

When healthy, Kiermaier has still been an excellent center fielder. However, the question is whether or not he can play even 110 games a year in any given season. Kiermaier has topped that amount just twice in his eight years in the majors as he has been sidelined with a variety of injuries.

Chances are, the Rays will need to package Kiermaier with another player, or possibly a prospect, in order to get rid of his salary. It had seemed probable that he would have been dealt with Snell, but that ship has sailed. Nonetheless, Kiermaier’s time with the franchise seems to be drawing to a close.

Next. What's next after Blake Snell trade?. dark

The Tampa Bay Rays are not done making moves this offseason. Kevin Kiermaier may be the next player to be sent elsewhere.