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The Tampa Bay Rays go into the offseason needing to find at least one catcher after losing Travis d’Arnaud to free agency (if they don’t re-sign him).
They still have Mike Zunino on the roster but could decide to non-tender him as he could make close to $5 million in arbitration this offseason and hit even worse than Hedges in 2019.
Tampa Bay is a very pitching and defensive-focused team that I think would be a great fit for Hedges.
He’d be great with that pitching staff as the Rays hope to contend in the AL East in 2020.
And you know the low budget Rays would welcome the cheap contract that Hedges brings as he’s likely to make just under $3 million in arbitration this offseason with two more years of arbitration control left.
d’Arnaud was in a similar spot as Hedges before coming to Tampa Bay and we saw how that worked out for him.
The question here is what can the Rays offer in return?
Again, they’re looking to contend in 2020 so they won’t give up any of their cheap Major League talent.
I don’t know the Rays system well enough to know who might be available and what their value is, but this would have to be a trade where the Padres get a prospect or two in return.
Those are just three teams who could be interested in Hedges this offseason. If the Padres do want to move him, I think they’ll have a ton of suitors.