Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays retain infielder Brad Miller, nontender relievers Xavier Cedeno, Chase Whitley

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays decided — for now, anyway — to bet on a bounce-back season from Brad Miller and eliminated some bullpen options in ditching Chase Whitley and Xavier Cedeno by Friday’s contract-tender deadline.

In keeping Miller, who is projected to make $4.4 million next year, the Rays clearly felt better about the second baseman rebounding from a poor, injury-shortened 2017 followup to his 2016 30-homer breakout season than cutting him loose and getting nothing in return, though they could trade him later.

"We know the extent of his physical ability, and we’ve seen what he can do and what he’s capable of at the plate," senior vice president Chaim Bloom said. "That’s not something that we’re projecting on necessarily. It’s something that we’ve seen him do in the past and believe that he has the potential to do again. … We wouldn’t have tendered him (Friday) if we didn’t think that he had the ability to rebound."

In nontendering Cedeno, coming off an injury-marred season, and waiving Whitley, who was claimed by the Braves, a day after trading Brad Boxberger, the Rays made clear they plan to rely even more heavily on young arms to stock their bullpen.

Bloom said neither Boxberger, who was projected to make $1.9 million, nor Whitley ($1 million), looked to have key roles in the Rays’ 2018 plans. The Cedeno decision seemed more to do with his health/availability after missing most of 2017 with forearm tightness, though Bloom said they will "stay engaged" and could bring him back, presumably on a minor-league deal.

The three departures saved the Rays a projected $4.3 million in their effort to trim payroll, though Bloom said they looked at the moves more as "individual baseball decisions."

The Rays also tendered their eight other arbitration-eligible players, shown with mlbtraderrumors.com salary projections: starter Jake Odorizzi ($6.5 million), outfielder/DH Corey Dickerson ($6.4 million), closer Alex Colome ($5.5 million), shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria ($5 million), outfielder Steven Souza Jr. ($3.6 million), reliever Dan Jennings ($2.5 million), catcher Jesus Sucre ($1.3 million) and infielder Matt Duffy ($900,000).

Comments
Rays’ Rocco Baldelli reportedly a finalist for Toronto job

Rays’ Rocco Baldelli reportedly a finalist for Toronto job

Rays coach Rocco Baldelli is one of five finalists for the Blue Jays manager's job, Sportsnet's Shi Davidi reported.Three other finalists were said to be Astros bench coach Joe Espada, Giants farm director David Bell and Cubs bench coach Brandon Hyde...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Rays sending 4 trucks of supplies to hurricane-ravaged area

Rays sending 4 trucks of supplies to hurricane-ravaged area

The Rays will send four trucks of donated water, food and supplies to Bay County on Wednesday morning to help those affected by Hurricane Michael.About 20 staffers are making what will be a 36-hour trip to the Florida Panhandle as they deliver and di...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Rays make first 2019 signing, add LHP Ryan Sherriff

Rays make first 2019 signing, add LHP Ryan Sherriff

The Rays made their first move of the off-season, signing LHP Ryan Sherriff to a minor-league deal.Sherriff, 28, is recovering from June Tommy John elbow surgery so at best would be a late-season addition to the big-league roster.He has pitched parts...
Published: 10/16/18
Rays’ Rocco Baldelli interviews with Rangers

Rays’ Rocco Baldelli interviews with Rangers

Interest in Rays coach Rocco Baldelli as a manager continues to grow, as he interviewed for another opening on Monday, this time with the Texas Rangers.Baldelli, 37, has also interviewed with the Reds, and reportedly with the Twins. The Angels and Bl...
Published: 10/15/18
David Price finally leads Red Sox to a postseason victory. Sort of

David Price finally leads Red Sox to a postseason victory. Sort of

BOSTON — According to standard baseball measurements, David Price did not pitch well on Sunday night. The former Ray gave up four runs in fewer than five innings, handed back a lead that his Boston Red Sox teammates had given him in the first inning ...
Published: 10/15/18
Sports Illustrated: Rays were baseball’s ‘most consequential’ team in 2018

Sports Illustrated: Rays were baseball’s ‘most consequential’ team in 2018

They won't win the World Series. And they didn't even make the playoffs.Yet, the Rays were baseball's "most consequential baseball team" this season, according to Sports Illustrated.The opener strategy first employed by the Rays presents "the biggest...
Published: 10/15/18
Add Reds to teams Rays’ Rocco Baldelli has talked with

Add Reds to teams Rays’ Rocco Baldelli has talked with

We told you in Sunday's Tampa Bay Times that Rays coach Rocco Baldelli was a "hot name" for the six current managerial openings, and had already been connected with the Blue Jays, Rangers and Twins.There was word Sunday morning of formal contact with...
Published: 10/14/18
Rays Tales: Is moving on from C.J. Cron the right move?

Rays Tales: Is moving on from C.J. Cron the right move?

ST. PETERSBURG —The Rays' primary target this offseason seems to be adding a right-handed impact bat.And to do so, they are likely to get rid of the one they have, 30-homer hitting 1B/DH C.J. Cron.Why?In short, to try to upgrade. And gain some ...
Published: 10/13/18
Updated: 10/15/18
Rays collecting donations for Hurricane Michael relief

Rays collecting donations for Hurricane Michael relief

The Rays are collecting donations to help those in the Panhandle affected by Hurricane Michael.You can donate from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday and 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday at the Tropicana Field Gate 4 dropoff circle at 16th Street near Fifth Avenue S in St. Pe...
Published: 10/13/18
Michelle Margaux leaving Rays TV broadcasts, heading to Houston

Michelle Margaux leaving Rays TV broadcasts, heading to Houston

Michelle Margaux is leaving Fox Sports Sun after one season as the reporter on Rays broadcasts and heading Houston to cover the NBA Rockets as the in-game reporter for AT&T SportsNet.Margaux will also have some hosting duties and work some Astros gam...
Published: 10/10/18