This morning, just a few hours ahead of the start of free agency, the Rays chose to decline the speedy outfielder’s option for 2023.
As a result, Kiermaier is now a free agent and has collected a $2.5 million buyout.
Kiermaier was a fan favorite during his time in Tampa Bay.
Though he battled injuries and struggled to find consistency at the plate, his defense in center field was Gold Glove caliber.
On Twitter, the Rays posted a video featuring some of Kiermaier’s best moments, thanking him for his time with the team at the end.
All the unreal plays, all the incredible moments
You'll always have a home in Tampa Bay, KK 💙 pic.twitter.com/PYbRtzCWAg
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) November 10, 2022
Rays Say Goodbye To Fan Favorite
The 32-year-old came up with the Rays in 2013 and appeared in just one game.
In 2014, he was awarded the starting center field job and put together a solid first full season in the big leagues, hitting .263 with 10 home runs and 35 RBI.
His best season came in 2017, when he hit .276 with 15 homers, 39 RBI, 15 doubles, three triples, and 16 stolen bases.
“The Outlaw,” as he was affectionately known, had a knack for some highlight-reel plays on defense, winning three Gold Gloves and a Platinum Glove during his tenure with the Rays.
For his career, Kiermaier has posted a 31.8 WAR and has picked up 756 hits in 3,053 at-bats, which adds up to a .248 average.
He was also part of the Rays’ 2020 World Series team that fell short in six games to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Now, Kiermaier hits the free agent market for the first time in his career.