MLB Rumors: The Toronto Blue Jays and Kevin Kiermaier have agreed to terms on a free agent contract, per reports. No word yet on the details.
Kiermaier has spent his entire career up until now with the Tampa Bay Rays, having been drafted by them in the 31st round of the 2010 MLB Draft. He appeared in one (1) game for them in 2013, when he played one (1) inning in centerfield. He came into the game as a defensive replacement and didn’t have a fielding opportunity.
I bet you are thinking to yourself, wtf, AJM, why are you even talking about this? Is there even any reason to bring that up, or are you just doing one of those things where you ramble about some esoterica no one else cares about for no reason?
There is a reason I bring this up, though. I will warn you, however, you may not want to know. You may regret finding out. You may wish to close your browser and read something else now.
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Okay, those of you who dare to stare into the abyss, congratulations on sticking it out.
Kevin Kiermaier played in that one game, for one inning, on September 30. We wouldn’t even call it a cup of coffee. I don’t even think that qualifies as a sip of coffee. It is licking the drops that sloshed onto your finger after handing the coffee to someone else.
Kiermaier played in the Rays’ final regular season game of the year. Game 162, right?
No. Game 163. A game played by the Rays, at Texas, against the Rangers.
Because it was 2013. The year the Indians won 10 in a row to end the season and clinch a Wild Card spot, while the Rangers won 7 in a row to end the season and the Rays won 8 of 10 to end the season, resulting in a Game 163. David Price threw a complete game to give the Rays the final Wild Card spot.
That final inning, when the Rays celebrated on the field at Globe Life Field while the Rangers walked off having fallen short of a playoff berth, was Kevin Kiermaier’s first ever major league appearance.
Kiermaier is one of those guys who seems like he’s been talked about forever on LSB and among Rangers fans on Twitter as a possible trade target. He was a stathead favorite after he put up a 7.1 bWAR in 2015 — his only season with at least 500 PAs — despite league-average offense, due to his being an otherworldly defensive centerfielder. Kiermaier has never hit much, but has been a quality player nonetheless due to his glovework. Kiermaier has three Gold Gloves, and likely would have more if he’d actually been a regular more often.
Anyway, one wouldn’t think that the Rangers would be in the market for a glove-first center fielder who slashed .228/.281/.369 last year and turns 33 in April, so this isn’t one of these situations where a potential Ranger target has gone off the board.
Really, there’s not much reason for me to be doing a writeup about this move at all, except it is a Saturday, and there’s not much else going on around the league. Slow news days on the weekend are more likely to see a post devoted to a nonconsequential free agent who hasn’t been linked to the Rangers and hasn’t played for the Rangers go up.