The Tampa Bay Rays seemed to be at least fielding offers for three-time Gold Glove winner Kevin Kiermaier moments before Major League Baseball instituted its lockout.
While no baseball business can be done until the owners and union ratify a new collective bargaining agreement, it's never too early to muse about where Kiermaier could land. Here are five clubs that could use the outfielder's services once MLB resumes.
Los Angeles Angels
The Angels have to come to terms with the fact that Mike Trout's days in center are likely numbered – particularly if they want to keep their three-time MVP on the field. The once elite defender's been merely average in recent years, costing his team minus-1.9 runs over the past five seasons, according to FanGraphs. Additionally, he was held to just 36 games last year due to a calf injury. It'd be best to try to avoid any further harm to his ailing calf by relegating him to a corner outfield spot, at least part time.
That's where Kiermaier would come in. Roughly a league-average hitter, he's not going to hurt a team at the dish and his defense is truly game-changing. Though he's in his 30s, he still saved more than 16 runs over the past two seasons, according to FanGraphs. And, while pitching has been the real problem for the Angels over the past … forever, run prevention of any kind would be a huge step in the right direction for a club starving for its first playoff berth since 2014.
Since the loss of George Springer to free agency, the Astros have been looking for a center-field replacement. Myles Straw seemed like he might fit in – at least from a defensive perspective – but the club shipped him to the Cleveland Guardians in a deal for reliever Phil Maton.