Washington Nationals: Corey Dickerson a trade target

rjuckett
KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 28: Corey Dickerson
KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 28: Corey Dickerson /
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With Corey Dickerson on the open market, the Washington Nationals should grab the All-Star to bolster their already powerful bench and outfield.

The Washington Nationals should target outfielder Corey Dickerson.

Dickerson was designated for assignment Saturday night by the Tampa Bay Rays. Amid yet another fire sale, Tampa dumped his non-guaranteed $5.95 million salary to cut costs for the financially challenged team.

The 28-year-old Dickerson made the American League All-Star team and started in left field. In Tampa’s weak defense, his production slid the second half of 2017. Still, because this is an arbitration salary, they can cut him for virtually nothing the first two weeks of spring training.

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Although he will not make it to Washington’s spot on the waiver claim wire, Dickerson’s power is worth pursuing. Tampa has 10 days to let him go through waivers, where he will get claimed, trade him or send him to the minors.

Dickerson is out of options. There is little chance he accepts assignment and opts for an instant free agency instead. Teams do not make this move with the hope they sneak him back. He is on the move.

Over five seasons with the Rays and Colorado Rockies, Dickerson primarily is a left fielder. He has a handful of games in right and center but, in 382 defensive games, 358 came in left. His defense is steady. The range factor is slightly above average while he will save you a run or two.

At the plate is where Dickerson shines.

His tremendous first half earned him his first All-Star nod. Over the full season, Dickerson smashed 33 doubles and a career-high 27 home runs. His .282/.325/.490 slash line earned him an .815 OPS and a 120 OPS+. Good for second on the Rays.

After the break, he struggled. The batting average plunged from .312 to .241 and his OPS dropped from .903 to .690. Dickerson’s playing time went down, appearing in 65 after the All-Star Game.

With two-years of team control, Dickerson would make an excellent option off the bench. He can spell Adam Eaton in left and play the other two positions. Tampa used him 55 times last year as a designated hitter. In the minors, he played mostly in left.

Tampa will want a prospect for him, but one that costs little in real dollars. Brian Goodwin fits the description. As good as he is, Dickerson is an upgrade while a change of scenery would make Goodwin an everyday player. Any trade involving a Victor Robles or Juan Soto is a non-starter.

Next: Nats sell spring training stadium name

Still, with Chris Archer and Alex Colome in Tampa, a larger trade might be in the cards. Worth watching.

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