Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Duncan makes Rays roster

ST. PETERSBURG — The main reason the Rays signed OF/1B Shelley Duncan to a minor-league contract was for insurance in case DH Luke Scott got hurt again.

And with Scott not even making it to opening day because of a calf strain, and being out anywhere from two to five weeks, the Rays tapped into the policy by adding Duncan to the opening day roster they submitted Sunday.

"Just with the chance of it being four-five weeks, our focus was on somebody with extra-base-hit ability," executive VP Andrew Friedman said on a conference call. "We feel like Shelley has a chance to hit the ball out of the ballpark and add value with his power."

Choosing Duncan, 33, over OF Brandon Guyer came with some risk, as Duncan is out of options and the Rays would have to expose him to waivers to send him down when Scott returns. Duncan will be used primarily as the DH against left-handed pitchers, with the potential to play some at first base, and will make about $800,000, with another $500,000 in incentive bonuses.

It also came with the cost of having to create space on the 40-man roster, as Duncan was in camp on a minor-league deal. Already needing one spot to add RHP Jamey Wright, the Rays ended up designating for assignment two catchers, Robinson Chirinos, who returned after missing last season with a concussion, and Stephen Vogt, who last year was the last-minute addition to the opening day roster.

Friedman said those decisions were difficult, leaving Chris Gimenez as the only other experienced catcher in the system, as they have 10 days to trade, release or pass Chirinos and Vogt through waivers.

But with Scott's status uncertain and a competitive division race about to start, they felt it was worthwhile.

"Sometimes you have to do certain things you're not incredibly comfortable doing for the sake of putting the best roster out there," Friedman said. "We're focused on getting out of the gates with a good start, and we feel like Shelley is going to help us do that."

Duncan has played parts of six seasons in the majors with the Yankees and Indians, with a career .229 average, 41 homers (in 830 at-bats), 138 RBIs and a .733 OPS.

The Rays first added RHP Juan Carlos Oviedo, who is recovering from elbow surgery, to the 40-man roster, then moved him to the 60-day DL (freeing up his spot), designated Vogt and Chirinos (who would have been at Triple A), and added Wright and Duncan. Reassigning C Craig Albernaz, who went to Durham, got them to the 25-man limit.

PRICE CHECK: The $202 million extension that RHP Justin Verlander got from Detroit would seem to the latest reason the cost of keeping LHP David Price will go up.

Price will be a free agent in 2016, but there is speculation the Rays will trade him before then, knowing they won't be able to afford him.

But Price didn't see any correlation with Verlander's deal.

"I don't think about, it," Price said. "If you ask me, it doesn't have anything to do with me. I'm focusing on this year with the Rays, and that's the way I'm doing it."

MISCELLANY: Both the Rays and Orioles will work out at the Trop today. … RHP Alex Cobb, who starts Saturday vs. ex-Ray Scott Kazmir, is to throw a simulated game today.

Duncan makes Rays roster 03/31/13 [Last modified: Monday, April 1, 2013 12:48pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. For starters: Rays vs. Blue Jays: Looking to make it 2 in a row


    Coming off Sunday's win over the Mariners - just their fourth in the last 16 games - the Rays are looking to make it two in a row tonight as they take on the Blue Jays in the opener of a three-game series.

    Chris Archer will be on the mound for the Rays.
  2. Commissioner Manfred to visit Trop Wednesday for Rays-Blue Jays


    Commissioner Rob Manfred is slated to be at the Trop on Wednesday.

    Commissioner Rob Manfred is slated to be at the Trop on Wednesday.
  3. Bucs running back's gamble pays off for his mom


    TAMPA — When Peyton Barber decided to leave Auburn after his sophomore year, with only one season as a starting running back, it was a risky decision, one he hoped would let him help out his family back home in suburban Atlanta.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Peyton Barber (43) takes the field with an American flag before a preseason game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Washington Redskins at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  4. Armwood vs. Tampa Bay Tech teeming with Division I-A talent


    Armwood High School strong safety Caleb Sutherland (18) breaks a tackle to score a pick-six during the Spring Football Jamboree in Seffner, Fla. on Thursday, May 18, 2017.
  5. Bucs bring back long snapper Andrew DePaola to compete


    Just 12 days before the NFL makes its final cuts, the Bucs have added another position battle, signing back long snapper Andrew DePaola to compete with veteran Garrison Sanborn.

    Andrew DePaola is making an impressive recovery from the torn ACL he suffered in last year's season finale against Carolina in January.  [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]