Rays clear OF room, trade Mahtook to Tigers

Rays clear OF room, trade Mahtook to Tigers

After enhancing their outfield depth this offseason, the Rays cleared some of the excess on Wednesday, trading Mikie Mahtook to the Tigers for a player to be named or cash considerations.

Mahtook batted .295 with nine home runs and a .970 OPS in 115 plate appearances during his 2015 debut season with the Rays. But the 27-year-old, right-handed batter hit just .195 with three homers and a .523 OPS over 196 big league plate appearances last year.

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With the recent additions of Colby Rasmus, who is reportedly close to signing a one-year, $5 million deal, and Mallex Smith, who was acquired in last week's trade that sent Drew Smyly to the Mariners, Mahtook no longer factored prominently into the Rays' immediate plans.

Rasmus, Kevin Kiermaier and Steven Souza Jr. are projected to serve as Tampa's primary outfield trio. Smith, Corey Dickerson and Nick Franklin will compete for playing time as backup outfielders.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.