Rays face tender moments with tonight's roster decisions
The Rays are working toward a midnight deadline to tender contracts to their nine arbitration eligible players, though they don't seem to have much to talk about.
Barring an unexpected trade offer or opportunity to upgrade, the Rays are expected to retain all nine, listed with their mlbtraderumors.com projected salaries:
LHP Jake McGee, $4.7-million
DH/1B/OF Logan Morrison, $4.1M
RHP Alex Cobb, $4M
LHP Drew Smyly, $3.9M
2B Logan Forsythe, $3.3M
OF Desmond Jennings, $3.1M
RHP Erasmo Ramirez, $2.8M
C Rene Rivera, $1.6M
OF Brandon Guyer, $1.3M
All, at this point, factor heavily into the Rays plans for the coming season, though Cobb - who underwent Tommy John elbow surgery last May - will be out until August, or at best late July, as he continues his rehab.
Jennings is coming off an injury-marred season in which he played only 28 games primarily due to left knee issues that led to surgery, but agent Scott Boras said he is healthy and ready to go.
Rivera's poor 2015 performance would seem to make his status worthy of conversation, but the Rays appear confident he will improve in being used as the backup to Casali, and showed that by releasing veteran J.P. Arencibia last week.
The non-tender deadline can benefit the Rays as other teams will sometimes look to deal a player they no longer have in their plans for a small return, and that players who are nontendered become free agents. Pittsburgh's power-hitting 1B/3B Pedro Alvarez is one player who may become available that way.