Standout CF Kevin Kiermaier made very clear Monday what he thought of the Rays' weekend decisions to part ways with veteran OF/DH Corey Dickerson and RHP Jake Odorizzi:
"I am 100 percent frustrated and very upset with the moves. No beating around the bush. It's one of those things that makes you scratch your head, you don't know the reasoning why. And then you see the team's explanation and still it's just like, okay, well, so be it."
The Rays designated for assignment Dickerson, a 2017 All-Star, and traded Odorizzi to the Twins for a Class A prospect in moves designed to trim about $10-million from the payroll, though they did add 1B C.J. Cron in the process.
Kiermaier, who said last week he plans to assume more of a leadership role, and already is one of the team's higher paid and most popular players, said he knows that part of being a professional means he will eventually have to get over it:
"With that being said it's my responsibility, and now the team's responsibility, to move on. It's over with. It's done. Got to move on from it," he said.
"We can not sit here and dwell on it. We can sit here and feel sorry for ourselves. Chatter amongst each other. But it's over with, it happened. We still have a really good team in here, got a lot of good guys. I believe in these guys. We lost two great players. It's terrible. At the same time, life goes on. We still have to do what we have to do to go out there and get as many wins as possible."
Kiermaier also said he agreed with the Sunday comments made by former Rays star Evan Longoria about how the moves were bad for the team.
In explaining the moves, Rays GM Erik Neander acknowledged they needed to gain "financial flexibility" – which is the polite version of cutting payroll – while dealing from positions of depth and not finding many attractive offers in a bad market.
Then said it's his responsibility to move on.