Rays part ways with catcher Bobby Wilson
In clearing roster space to add prospects, the Rays parted ways with veteran C Bobby Wilson, the Seminole High product.
Wilson, 33, cleared outright waivers and elected free agency, planning to sign a big-league deal with another team. He has been hoping to stay with the Rays.
"I'm a little disappointed in the way it worked out,'' he said, though adding that "the door's not closed" for a potential return if something doesn't work out elsewhere.
Wilson played in 28 games for the Rays to finish last season after being claimed off waivers from Texas Aug. 4, following the acquisition of Jonathan Lucroy. He played in 42 games for the Rangers after returning following an early-season stint with the Tigers.
"Being born and raised in the area and coming off the year I had I felt like it was the perfect fit for the Rays to show the community that a kid could grow up and play for his hometown team, but it wasn't in the cards again this year,'' Wilson said.
He hit .237 for the season with seven homers and 33 RBIs, and drew praise from pitchers with the Rays and Rangers for the work he did behind the plate.
With the Rays, he hit .230 with four homers and nine RBIs.
The move leaves the Rays with 36 players on the 40-man roster, including three catchers - Curt Casali, Luke Maile and prospect Justin O'Conner. Wilson started the 2015 season with the Rays, but ended up getting dropped from the roster in June.
"This week is obviously a big week for setting the 40-man roster and with that looming that certainly accelerated the timetable on some things,'' senior VP Chaim Bloom said. "We think the world of who Bobby us and the leadership he provides, and that was a tough decision. The catchers we did retain have roster flexibility (in terms of having options to be sent to the minors) that is more useful to us right now. That's a position we will continue to look to improve as we go through the off-season.''