Sports Illustrated: Rays are ‘best fit’ for two of MLB’s top 50 free agents

The Rays are considered the "best fit" for Mariners and former Rangers slugger Nelson Cruz, according to Sports Illustrated. [AP Photo/Charlie Riedell]
The Rays are considered the "best fit" for Mariners and former Rangers slugger Nelson Cruz, according to Sports Illustrated. [AP Photo/Charlie Riedell]
Published October 30
Updated October 30

It's too early to know how active the Rays will be in free agency.

But they are considered the "best fit" for two of the top 50 players on the market— including one in the top 10 — according to Sports Illustrated.

No landing spot makes more sense than Tampa Bay for Mariners slugger Nelson Cruz, ranked No. 9 on Ben Reiter's list of the Top 50 MLB Free Agents.

Cruz, Reiter points out, has hit more home runs (203) than any player in baseball over the past five seasons.  But his age (38) and lack of versatility could limit his market value.

"Might he prove cheap enough for the Rays — who hit just 150 home runs last year — to afford?" Reiter asks.

Angels pitcher Garrett Richards, No. 36 on the list, is expected to miss most, if not all, of 2019 after undergoing Tommy John surgery during the summer. But that won't scare off the Rays, Reiter writes.

"The Rays have a good track record of successfully rehabbing injured free agent, recently Nathan Eovaldi and Wilson Ramos — and Richards, with his 96 mph fastball, represents another attractive project."

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