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Yankees, Mets Have Discussed Manuel Margot Trades With Rays

Yankees, Mets Have Discussed Manuel Margot Trades With Rays

The Yankees have “engaged the Rays in multiple conversations this offseason” relating to outfielder Manuel Margot, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. It has recently been reported that the Rays have been discussing Margot with multiple clubs and Rosenthal reiterates that. Joel Sherman of The New York Post adds that the Mets are interested as well.

Margot, 29, has been a solid contributor to this point in his career, largely serving as a strong defender with offense just a bit under league average. Since getting traded from the Padres to the Rays prior to 2020, he has hit .264/.317/.375 for a wRC+ of 97. He also stole 41 bases in that time while generally producing above-average defensive grades: +16 Defensive Runs Saved, +21 Outs Above Average and a grade of +1.9 from Ultimate Zone Rating. Those numbers slipped a bit in 2023 but they can often be inconsistent on a year-to-year basis and Margot was recovering from a significant strain of the patellar tendon in his right knee in 2022.

Going into the 2022 season, Margot and the Rays agreed to an extension that runs through 2024. He’ll make a salary of $10MM next year and there’s a $12MM mutual option for 2025 with a $2MM buyout. Since mutual options are almost never picked up by both sides, teams will consider Margot to have one year and $12MM remaining on his deal. That’s a perfectly suitable price point for a decent regular. Jackie Bradley Jr. got two years and $24MM from the Brewers a few years back. Kevin Kiermaier got one year and $9MM from the Jays despite being 33 years old and coming off hip surgery. Eddie Rosario got two years and $18MM from Atlanta.

But the Rays have often traded away players as they approach free agency, both as a way to keep costs down and to perpetually restock their farm system. The club’s payroll for next year is currently slated to be $126MM, per Roster Resource. They’ve never gone beyond the $80MM range, per Cot’s Baseball Contracts. A few members of their arbitration class will likely wind up non-tendered and the club seems to have some willingness to push payroll upwards next year, but it seems like some cuts are still going to be necessary.

There have been some rumors about Tyler Glasnow trades of late, unsurprising given his talent and $25MM salary in 2024, but a Margot trade would surely be more palatable from Tampa’s perspective. Their rotation suffered a large number of injuries in 2023, with each of Shane McClanahan, Jeffrey Springs and Drew…

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