There has been a recent signing binge on former Rays players, most heading to the AL and NL Central. Justin Ruggiano joined the crowd today, signing a minor league deal with an invite to spring training with the Houston Astros. Ruggiano joins Russ Canzler and Casey Kotchman, both of whom ended up in Cleveland. Granted, Canzler went by trade, but the Rays still lost him.
Ruggiano was a fringe player at best in his Rays career, but the Rays will not have their go to injury replacement this season. This is good news for the Rays, as they will not have a reason to avoid calling up Brandon Guyer.
Rays News and Notes
- Another former Ray was on the move today, except he was moving back east. Jason Hammel is heading to Baltimore in a trade today. The Orioles sent veteran Jeremy Guthrie to Colorado for Hammel and Matt Lindstrom. I would expect the Rays to see a lot of Hammel this season, as he should slot into the middle of their rotation. On Guthrie leaving, Rays hitters should be happy as they’ll be just a little bit safer- Guthrie consistently ranked among the AL leaders in hit-by-pitches the past three seasons.
- Oh good, the always great stadium talk. Not one, but two articles regarding the Rays stadium situation were published today. Richard Justice published an article for MLB.com, saying that the Rays are admirable for not saying much on the situation in public. Craig Calcaterra of NBCSports.com rebutted this, pointing out that Stu Sternberg has been rather vocal in the past, saying some not too great things. I tend to agree with Calcaterra, as Sternberg has said some things that no owner should say in public. The comments are not great, as many of us have seen in the past. If you haven’t, check out the post.
- Finally, on a more Trop related note, the Rays are ruffling some feathers by charging $15 for parking for a Health and Wellness Expo this weekend. The Expo is being held in conjunction with the Rock n’ Roll Marathon being run in downtown St. Pete on Sunday. The Rays are doing the admirable thing by donating the Trop for the weekend, so I think none of us should be angry that they want a little money out of the deal.