Kevin Kiermaier on Monday sounded off on the Tampa Bay Rays' recent roster moves, saying he is "100 percent frustrated and very upset" by the team's decisions to part ways with All-Star outfielder Corey Dickerson and veteran pitcher Jake Odorizzi.
"I am 100 percent frustrated and very upset with the moves, no beating around the bush," Kiermaier told the Tampa Bay Times. "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, 'OK well, so be it.'"
The Rays designated Dickerson for assignment Saturday in a corresponding move to their acquisition of first baseman C.J. Cron from the Angels. Tampa Bay also traded Odorizzi to the Twins for minor league shortstop Jermaine Palacios.
The Rays saved about $10 million from their projected 2018 million payroll with three transactions, and now are obligated to pay about $1 million of Dickerson's $5.95 million for this year.
Rays general manager Erik Neander cited economics and the organization's depth as reasons for the moves, also saying that swapping the left-handed Dickerson for the right-handed Cron gives Tampa Bay "a more functional roster."
Kiermaier, 27, is one of Tampa Bay's most popular players and is entering the second year of a six-year, $53.5 million contract. He said last week that he wants to be a more vocal leader in the Rays' clubhouse, and acknowledged Monday that he has a "responsibility" to get over the weekend moves.
"It's over with. It's done. Got to move on from it," Kiermaier told the Times. "We cannot 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, who is entering his fifth season with Tampa Bay, is the latest prominent player to comment on the Rays' moves.
"It's kind of a shame,'' Longoria said Sunday. "I don't understand it. [Dickerson] was an All-Star last year. He's in his early prime. ... It just doesn't make sense to me. It doesn't make sense to a lot of people. Corey will end up somewhere and continue to be the player that he is. But I kind of just feel bad for the Rays' fan base."