It would make sense for the Braves to add an outfielder this spring, and the Rays have made a pretty decent one available as they (surprisingly) DFA’d slugger Corey Dickerson on Saturday night. Could the two sides match up in a deal?
Jon Morosi — who is known for reporting his own speculation as rumor instead of actual discussions being had — thinks it might happen.
#Braves are trying to add an outfielder, source confirms, and could be a suitor for Corey Dickerson. He grew up in Mississippi, where the Braves are the most popular @MLB team. @MLBNetwork— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) February 18, 2018
As things stand the Braves will head into the year with Nick Markakis in right field and a platoon of Lane Adams and Preston Tucker in left. It goes without saying that they could use an upgrade in either area, and the corner spots figure to be a real weakness until Ronald Acuna is deemed ready for the bigs.
Dickerson, 28, actually started as the DH in last summer’s All-Star Game and ended the season with a healthy 2.6 fWAR. That doesn’t tell the whole story, though. Check out his splits:
First half: .312/.355/.548, 139 wRC+, 17 HR
Second half: .241/.282/.408, 80 wRC+, 10 HR
A left-handed hitter, he hits righties far better (124 wRC+) than he does lefties (86). He’s an average defender in left field, logging a +1 DRS over the last two years. Dickerson will be paid just under $6 million for 2018 and will be under control through 2019. He was projected a .262/.308/.472 (104 wRC+) line by ZiPS.
So, he’s not an All-Star by any means — an actual All-Star, we should say — but I’d wager he’s a better option than Markakis or the Adams-Tucker platoon. He would bring power to the lineup, and the Braves are known to be looking for power, although they’d probably prefer a right-handed bat to place 4th behind Freddie Freeman.