Rays News

Tampa Bay Rays: Recapping the offseason moves so far

By Austin Reimann
TOKYO, JAPAN - MARCH 07: Yoshitomo Tsutsugo #25 (C) of Japan celebrates after hitting a two-run homer in the seventh inning of the World Baseball Classic Pool B Game One between Cuba and Japan at Tokyo Dome on March 7, 2017 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images)
TOKYO, JAPAN - MARCH 07: Yoshitomo Tsutsugo #25 (C) of Japan celebrates after hitting a two-run homer in the seventh inning of the World Baseball Classic Pool B Game One between Cuba and Japan at Tokyo Dome on March 7, 2017 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images) /
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ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA – OCTOBER 07: Matt Duffy (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA – OCTOBER 07: Matt Duffy (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

The month of November was rather uneventful for the Rays and they spent a majority of the month preparing the 40-man roster for some future moves.

The first three weeks of the month were spent preparing for the November 20th Rule-5 deadline. The Rays decided to protect five Rule-5 eligible players and in the process had to release pair of veterans and trade away a pitcher that never truly panned out. Towards the end of the month, they acquired a versatile left handed hitter from the Reds. All in all, it was a rather uneventful month, but it paved the way for a much more active December.

Noteworthy Moves:

November 20th: 

  • Matt Duffy, 3B, was designated for assignment and later released on the 22nd
    • Duffy was a non-tender candidate prior to his release and after struggling to stay healthy with the Rays, was DFA’d to make room for a prospect.
  • Jose De Leon, RHP, was traded to Cincinnati Reds for a PTBNL and cash
    • Another move made to create space on roster for a prospect ahead of the deadline. De Leon, like Duffy, had struggled to stay healthy since his arrival in Tampa Bay.
  • Rays Add 5 Prospects to 40-man roster:
    • Ronaldo Hernandez, C
    • Vidal Brujan, 2B
    • Kevin Padlo, 3B
    • Lucius Fox, SS
    • Jake Cronenworth, 2-Way

November 25th:

  • Tampa Bay Rays and Mike Zunino agree to contract for 2020 with option for 2021
    • Rays took a chance on Zunino with a 4.5M deal with a 4.5M option for 2020

Related Story. 3 Reasons the Zunino contract was a good deal. light

November 27th:

  • Jesus Aguilar, 1B/DH, was designated for assignment and later claimed on Dec. 2nd
    • Acquired at trade deadline, Aguilar was another non-tender candidate and was essentially non-tendered with move. He was claimed by the Marlins.
  • Rays acquire Brian O’Grady, OF/1B, from Cincinnati Reds for PTBNL and cash
    • O’Grady brings a unique versatility to the roster and an ability to hit for power. Will get a shot in spring training and will provide depth in outfield.

Related Story. Getting to know Brian O'Grady. light

The Rays spent November making sure their roster was in order ahead of the December Winter Meetings. In Duffy and Aguilar they released a pair of arbitration eligible players that they were unlikely to tender contracts to anyways. Jose De Leon never really panned out after being acquired in exchange for Logan Forsythe and his trade was simply a move for roster space.

All in all, the Rays protected the prospects they needed to and rid themselves of veterans they were likely to release anyways… an uneventful but productive month.

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