BRADENTON — Just caught up with Corey Dickerson, who is in the lineup today for the Pirates against his former team.
"It's just another game for me," Dickerson said. "I just play the game."
Dickerson, who started for the American League in last July's All-Star Game, agreed to a $5.95 million deal to avoid arbitration in January then was designated for assignment before position players reported. He was traded to the Pirates in late February.
"I don't have any ill will toward anybody," Dickerson said. "Everybody is a human being and everybody has a job to do. Ultimately I play the game for people to respect how I play."
Dickerson is glad to be back in the National League, where he played parts of three seasons with the Rockies before being traded to the Rays in late January 2016 for Jake McGee.
In two seasons in Tampa Bay, Dickerson hit .265 with 51 home runs and 132 RBI. He hit 27 home runs last season, drove in 62 runs and batted .282, though he slumped mightily after the all-star break.
"They were expecting me to be some big DH. I really mentally wasn't ready to be a full-time DH, but that was an adjustment period," Dickerson said. "Had some great teammates over there to help me. I cherish every relationship I had there. I enjoyed my time there."
He feels he is in a better situation with the Pirates, where he will play left field.
"To have somebody who trusts in your ability to play the field and tell you than on a daily basis means a lot, especially when you feel like you've done a pretty good job," Dickerson said. "It means a lot to have the team, the coaches behind you."
He said he is not motivated to prove the Rays were wrong for trading him.
"I'm motivated by things that people don't understand or could fathom," he said. "The reason why I play this game, the situation, how it happened, I've had so much support from former teammates, that's really what's helped me get over it and realize the more important thing I can do is go about my business the right way, play the game, have no worries about the business aspect, because people come and go."
Contact Roger Mooney at [email protected] Follow @rogermooney50.