Jeff Niemann Moves On | The Process Report

Jeff Niemann Moves On

Earlier today, Jeff Niemann elected free agency once the Rays outrighted him off the 40-man roster according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.  The former 4th overall pick from the 2004 draft ends his career with the Rays with a 40-26 record and a 4.08 ERA in 97 games played.

The move was not terribly surprising given the fact Niemann has pitched so infrequently due to a variety of injuries. In all, he had five different stints on the major league disabled list, three of which were related to his shoulder.  According to Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com, Niemann was not close to throwing off a mound as of October 1st but had been playing catch on flat ground from 90 feet in hopes of being ready by the start of Spring Training.

Matt Swartz of MLB Trade Rumors had projected Niemann would make $3.3M in his arbitration hearing this off-season. Given the fact they did not pick up Juan Carlos Oviedo’s cheaper $2M option a few weeks ago who was coming off injury, Niemann’s departure was a foregone conclusion. His innings total had decreased each of the previous five seasons from a peak of 180.2 in 2009 to 38 innings in 2012 before he first missed time with a broken leg and re-appeared on the disabled list with the first signs of his now-corrected shoulder issues.

Niemann’s departure leaves 18 pitchers on the 40-man roster.



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