Tampa Bay is a typical small market team. There is no financial capacity to spend a lot of money to buy a large free agent (FA). That’s why it is famous for a team that emphasizes the farm system and recruits underrated players to use them in the right place.메이저사이트
Tampa Bay’s method was successful, and it became a team that stood shoulder to shoulder with big market teams. Usually, star players of a team that is about to qualify for free agency are sold as trades to secure prospects. Choi Ji-man (32, Pittsburgh) was no exception. Tampa Bay, which recruited Choi Ji-man and played an active role, traded Choi Ji-man to Pittsburgh after last year’s season, with one year remaining in obtaining FA qualification.
In fact, it was a trade that had concerns. Choi Ji-man was one of the team’s key players. There was a wall of platoon, but there was still a lot of time to play. He appeared in 127 games in 2019 and 113 last year. If it weren’t for the injury, this number could have been more. However, it was not that he recruited a first baseman who could replace Choi Ji-man from the free agent market. But Tampa Bay had no hesitation.
On the contrary, I made a different choice for Yandy Dias (32), who is the same age as Choi Ji-man. After trading Choi Ji-man, he signed a contract extension for 3 years at 24 million dollars (approximately 30.7 billion won) ahead of this season. For 2026, he also walked the team option. It certainly wasn’t easy to see Tampa Bay’s policy suggesting an extended contract to a player in his 30s. Choi Ji-man was traded, and Dias was tied up. It was a contradictory move.
Choi Ji-man and Dias had overlapping positions. Choi Ji-man saw first baseman or designated hitter, and Dias saw first baseman or third baseman and designated hitter. So, the two players were also competitors with first base in between, and sometimes they were partners sharing first base and designated hitter. However, Tampa Bay’s pioneering plan that chose Dias is hitting the mark. This is because Dias is making a big success this year.
Dias is a hitter with a batting average of 0.282, an on-base percentage of 0.376, and a slugging percentage of 0.426 in 530 games over seven years in the major leagues. As you can see from his career slugging percentage, it is not a typical big shot. He is rather more of an on-base hitter. Dias is a player who shows great patience at the plate, and is a hitter who seldom goes out of the bat on manned pitches. This is the type of hitter the team needs. However, his performance this year is completely different. It became the score of the giant.
▲ Dias compensated for the slugging percentage, which was a disadvantage, with the advantage of a high on-base percentage.
Dias is recording a batting average of 0.311, an on-base percentage of 0.404, and a slugging percentage of 0.539 in 58 games of the season until the 15th (Korean time). It’s not particularly unusual for Diaz to have a .300 batting average and a .400 on-base percentage, but what’s surprising is his slugging percentage. Dias has never exceeded his 0.500 slugging percentage since his major league debut. However, this slugging rate soared in his 30s, when his body age was about to decline.
Dias’ most home runs in a season was 14 in 2019, and in the last two seasons, he has hit only 22 home runs in 1099 plate appearances. However, he is hitting 12 home runs in just 219 plate appearances this year. He is a player who has not been so highly regarded in power since childhood, but this year the aspect is completely different.
Dias’ slugging power spike is his average exit velocity, which started to rise last year, and his launch angle, which has been getting higher and higher. Dias’ 2021 average exit velocity was 89.9 mph, which wasn’t high. However, he rose to 92.2 miles (148.4 km) last year, and this year he rose to a league-leading 95.2 miles (153.2 km). And the launch angle rose to 8.1 degrees this year following 6.6 degrees in 2021 and 7.7 degrees in 2022. He has no choice but to increase the number of long hits as he gives the ball a strong impact and floats it.
On top of that, he manages to maintain his unique high walk rate and low strikeout rate, so it was only natural that his offensive production improved dramatically. It is expected to remain as a representative example of making up for his shortcomings while making use of his own strengths.
Now, the possibility of the three-year contract ending with Tampa Bay’s victory has increased. If this year’s performance can be maintained to the end, it is highly likely that the 24 million dollar principal payback over the three years will be completed. Diaz’s annual salary is $6 million this year, $8 million next year, and $10 million in 2025, so he’s not that expensive. Tampa Bay has no choice but to smile because he is a player who can guarantee an on-base rate even if his long hits are reduced compared to before.