On Friday, the Chicago White Sox released INF Brett Lawrie and the Rays, among a few other teams, have shown interest in the 27-year old. Those other teams are the Royals, Mets, and Lawrie’s original team when he broke into MLB in 2011, the Blue Jays.
Royals, Jays, Mets and Rays are among the teams that have interest in Brett Lawrie according to sources. https://t.co/mZsHgE9wz8
— Jim Bowden (@JimBowden_ESPN) March 5, 2017
Lawrie, born in Canada in 1990, has six seasons under his belt in MLB and had his best years while with the Jays from 2011-2014 before heading to Oakland in 2015 and then recently with the White Sox last season. He’s a career .261 hitter despite having a sub-par season in 2016 in Chicago where he hit .248/.310/.413 in 94 games. He has played primarily third base but has 172 games at second base throughout his career, 92 of those with Chicago. So where would he fit in if the Rays did want to bring him aboard?
With Opening Day now less than a month away and players like 1B Logan Morrison and SS Matt Duffy not being rushed back from injury (neither having taken a single AB in spring, yet) the Rays have some room to possibly add depth to their MLB roster. With free agent signing, Rickie Weeks, in camp and transitioning him to first base and utility men Nick Franklin and Tim Beckham out of options, someone would feasibly need to go if they did, indeed, bring in Lawrie.
Brad Miller will get the load at second base this season and Franklin and Beckham have added left field to their arsenal so if, in fact, Lawrie ends up in a Rays jersey, he could be Miller’s primary backup as a right-handed bat (Miller is a lefty).
Do the Rays need to bring in another bat in an already log-jammed competition for infield spots? Not really. But with rehabbing players still trying to get back and Lawrie’s capability to be a solid bat off the bench and possibly even spell Evan Longoria at third from time to time to get him off his feet, it’s certainly an interesting consideration.
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