More Roster Moves Coming
While the focus has been on who the Rays might add this winter, don’t be surprised if a few familiar names are moved along the way.
Wednesday night’s additions pushed the 40-man roster to 37, including 10 players without options. Left-handed reliever might be the position with the most depth, as the Rays have six players who could conceivably fill the role. That includes Jake McGee, Alex Torres, and C.J. Riefenhauser, whose spots should be safe. Meanwhile, the other three—Jeff Beliveau, Cesar Ramos, and Wesley Wright—have uncertain futures in St. Petersburg.
Wright and Ramos are arguably the most interesting cases, having both played roles on last year’s team. The Rays acquired Wright from the Astros during the stretch run, and he excelled as a left-handed specialist. Ramos, for his part, served as the team’s long reliever. Both are out of options and arbitration-eligible, so their futures could be determined by the December 2 deadline. Beliveau, on the other hand, was claimed off waivers early in the year and used in an up-and-down capacity. He can still be optioned, but he seems to be the easiest southpaw to replace.
Another reliever who, in theory, could be dismissed is Josh Lueke. The righty is without options and hasn’t shown enough command to establish a toehold on a bullpen spot. It doesn’t help his case that the Rays have an assortment of in-house bullpen options, and figure to add a few external candidates before camp opens. With Joel Peralta and the aforementioned southpaws locked in, the question then is whether the Rays will retain Wright or Ramos, decreasing the number of available spots.
On the position-player side of things, Chris Gimenez and Sam Fuld are without options or assurance of making next year’s roster. Gimenez in particular seems likely to be designated for assignment at some point, with his ability to refuse an outright assignment could necessitate another move at the minor-league level. Then there’s Brandon Guyer. He is technically out of options, but is not included in the 10 count because it’s possible the Rays get a fourth option year for him due to his injury-shortened 2012.
While we’re short on specifics for the time being, expect the Rays to make a number of changes to the bottom of the roster before we hit Opening Day.