The Rays on Monday parted ways with the affable outfielder, a Seminole native and fan favorite, after acquiring Jose Siri from Houston in what they consider a potentially significant upgrade in centerfield.
He said it was “an absolute pleasure and honor” to play for his hometown team, the move “sucks, but we all know business is business,” and he appreciated the support during his parts of three seasons with the Rays. He ended the video by urging fans to continue to support the franchise and grow the fan base.
“The physical abilities are pretty spectacular on both sides of the ball — it’s premium-premium tools,” baseball operations president Erik Neander said. “Starting where he is right now defensively, we have him as good a centerfielder as there is in the game, if not the very best. … And then, offensively, a bit of a late bloomer. … I think he’s continuing to find himself at the plate.”
The 6-foot-2, 175-pounder hit .304 with four homers, nine RBIs and a .956 OPS in an impressive 21-game debut last September but just .178-3-10-.542 in 48 games this season over two stints with the Astros. He was playing with Triple-A Sugar Land when the trade happened. “Probably realistically, the answer is somewhere in the middle of that,” Neander said.