MLB News and Rumors

Rays Tweet Touching Tribute to Kevin Kiermaier After Declining Option

Isaiah De Los Santos
The Tampa Bay Rays tweeted a touching tribute to Kevin Kiermaier after declining his 2023 option on Thursday.
The Tampa Bay Rays tweeted a touching tribute to Kevin Kiermaier after declining his 2023 option on Thursday. / (AP Photo/Scott Audette)

The Tampa Bay Rays were faced with a few difficult decisions ahead of the start to free agency. One of those tough choices centered on veteran Kevin Kiermaier's 2023 option, which the team ultimately declined on Thursday.

Following this unfortunate news, Tampa Bay paid respect to its longtime defensive ace with a touching tribute.

The Rays' Twitter account posted a video looking back on Kiermaier's career with the team, starting all the way back with his first MLB home run 2014. It then transitions to the centerfielder's clutch plays throughout his tenure, which unsurprisingly features plenty of unreal defensive plays and a few major hits.

Kiermaier's instincts in the field were obvious as soon as he entered the majors. He won a Gold Glove in his second season, and then went on to take home the award again in 2016 and 2019. The former 31st-round pick provided some production at the plate throughout his time in Tampa as well, posting 82 home runs and 316 RBIs since 2014.

The 32-year-old will certainly have suitors in free agency due to his glove. However, health has been a major struggle for Kiermaier over the past few seasons, which could prevent teams from shelling out if they're not confident in his durability at this later stage of his career.

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Isaiah De Los Santos is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Isaiah De Los Santos also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username zayyy05328. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel. 

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