Tampa Bay Rays Waive Ace C.J. Cron for 5 Prospects

Hitter C.J. Cron. Photo by Trask Smith/CSM/REX/Shutterstock (9719808aj)

The Tampa Bay Rays made a surprising decision to cut star baseman C.J. Cron on Tuesday in a bid to acquire five prospects in the process. Cron made 30 homes runs this year, 16 more than the closest Rays player.

“This was a tough call, given what C.J. did for us last year and what he meant for our group,” General Manager Chaim Bloom said. “We certainly haven’t closed off the possibility of a return, but with as many deserving players on our club that need playing time, it didn’t make sense for us to commit to him right now.”

Cron was delegated for assignment alongside three other teammates, Oliver Drake, Hody Milner, and Jose Mujica. The three players will head to minor leagues but Mujica will miss the 2019 season to recover from a Tommy John surgery.

The Rays hope to bring in Jesus Sanchez, Joe McCarthy, Ian Gibaut, Brock Burke and Kyle Bird for their 40-man roster next season. The five players can’t be selected by another club as they are protected by Rule 5 of the MLB draft rules.

Bloom pointed out Burke and Bird as the prospects best expected to shine for the Rays next season. Gibaut, who recorded a 2.09 ERA in Durham, is also projected to do well.