Wednesday, November 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays right to cut ties with ex-top pick Josh Sale

The Rays made the right move in releasing thrice-suspended 2010 No. 1 draft pick OF Josh Sale before he did something else wrong.

If anything, the only question is what took them so long.

As they have with other troubled players, the Rays showed considerable patience with Sale, a power-hitting outfielder they took 17th overall out of Seattle's Bishop Blanchett High. But Sale, 23 now, turned out to be too much trouble, even with the investment of a $1.62 million bonus and the cache of being a first-rounder.

Sale held out until the deadline before signing in 2010, costing himself a short season of development.

He was suspended 50 games by Major League Baseball in August 2012 after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug, then said he didn't take a banned substance and would have appealed but couldn't recover the evidence to prove it.

Sale was suspended indefinitely by the Rays in May 2013 for disciplinary reasons following an inappropriate Facebook post about a visit to a strip club, then said the time away allowed him to "go home, grow up, take care of a lot of things."

And he was suspended another 50 games by MLB last August after testing positive twice for what is classified as "a drug of abuse.''

Rays officials declined to comment on the decision to release Sale before minor-league spring training opened, but it seems a safe assumption they weren't pleased with his progress and didn't want him around. That he had yet to play above Class A in five pro years didn't help, either.

Rays OF Kevin Kiermaier, who was a 31st-round pick in the same draft and worked his way to the majors, said previously that no one should feel bad for Sale based on the decisions he has made. Saturday, Kiermaier said Sale and others should know better given the opportunity they have.

"Maybe he wasn't doing enough things right to get another chance,'' Kiermaier said. "Who knows if another team will sign him. Maybe the Rays just thought it was time to go our separate ways.''

The Rays' recent history with top picks hasn't been great. INF Tim Beckham (2008) is the only one of their past seven to be close to the majors, and that after a drug suspension and a knee injury. Still, cutting ties with Sale was the right call.

RAYS RUMBLINGS: The market for likely-to-be-traded OF David DeJesus could pick up with the injury to Blue Jays OF Michael Saunders (though not to get back C Dioner Navarro from Toronto) and the potential suspension of Angels OF Josh Hamilton. … C Jose Molina, whom the Rays are paying $2.75 million to not play, joined the Cardinals as a spring instructor and may expand to roving duties. … Though LHP Jake McGee will open the season on the DL, the Rays aren't committed to replacing him with another lefty, meaning Jeff Beliveau could be the only southpaw in the pen. Mike Montgomery could be a candidate as a long man. … One ex-Ray text-messaged after seeing last Sunday's ranking of the team's biggest offseason losses to say former 1B coach George Hendrick deserved a high spot. … 3B Evan Longoria was 51st and RHP Alex Cobb 77th in the MLB Network's ranking of the game's top 100 players. … After initial misgivings, ex-Rays SS Yunel Escobar is said to be embracing the Nationals' plan to use him at second base. We'll see. … Espn.com guru Paul Lukas ranked the Rays' uniforms 16th in the majors, up two spots. … Pat Burrell, who didn't do much as a Ray, will be added to the Phillies' Wall of Fame in July.

Comments
Who are the guys Rays added to their roster?

Who are the guys Rays added to their roster?

LHPs Kyle Bird and Brock Burke, RHP Ian Gibaut, OFs Joe McCarthy and Jesus Sanchez all bring something.
Updated: 4 hours ago
Former Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey leaves Cubs for 'personal reasons'

Former Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey leaves Cubs for 'personal reasons'

Hickey had spent 11 years with Rays before leaving following 2017 season.
Updated: 3 hours ago
Rays DFA C.J. Cron in adding 5 prospects to roster

Rays DFA C.J. Cron in adding 5 prospects to roster

Leading home run hitter is headed to waiver wire; Drake and Milner also DFA'd, Mujica outrighted. Prospects Bird, Burke, Gibaut, McCarthy and Sanchez added.
Updated: 10 hours ago
A look at Rays 40-man roster with deadline approaching

A look at Rays 40-man roster with deadline approaching

With the Rays and all other teams working toward the 8 p.m. deadline to add prospects and set their rosters in advance of the Dec. 13 Rule 5 draft, here is a look at their current 39 players.The Rays are expected to trade or drop at least three more ...
Published: 11/20/18
Rays start roster shuffle, trade Chih-Wei Hu to Indians

Rays start roster shuffle, trade Chih-Wei Hu to Indians

Deadline to protect prospects from December Rule 5 draft is Tuesday night, and Rays have 4-6 worth considering.
Published: 11/19/18
Early ESPN schedule gives Rays a wave of the hand

Early ESPN schedule gives Rays a wave of the hand

A bit early, ESPN today released its coverage plans for the first couple weeks of the 2019 season.And of those 14 games slated for national broadcasts, guess how many include the Tampa Bay Rays, who are coming off a 90-win season that proved them to ...
Published: 11/19/18
Mariano Rivera heads new names on Hall of Fame ballot; ex-Ray Fred McGriff in final year

Mariano Rivera heads new names on Hall of Fame ballot; ex-Ray Fred McGriff in final year

All-time saves leader Mariano Rivera headlines the 20 newcomers to the 2019 Hall of Fame ballot released Monday.The Yankees great is expected to get near unanimous support from the 400-plus voting members of the Baseball Writers' Association of Ameri...
Published: 11/19/18
Rays weekend transactions: A Faria wedding, a Schultz baby

Rays weekend transactions: A Faria wedding, a Schultz baby

Some Rays were busy off the field in the last week, with RHP Jake Faria getting married and RHP Jaime Schultz becoming a dad.Faria and longtime girlfriend Jessica Soto got married over the weekend in California.Mr. and Mrs. Faria!! pic.twitter.com/YF...
Published: 11/19/18
Winning by losing: How ex-Ray Nathan Eovaldi sparked Red Sox to World Series title

Winning by losing: How ex-Ray Nathan Eovaldi sparked Red Sox to World Series title

Nathan Eovaldi's effort ó 97 pitches over six innings ó galvanized the team and drew praise from manager Joey Cora.
Published: 11/19/18
Rays Tales: Does Blake Snellís Cy Young salvage the 2011 draft?

Rays Tales: Does Blake Snellís Cy Young salvage the 2011 draft?

For all the misses the Rays had in the 2011 draft, Snell has been a pretty big hit. Is that enough?
Published: 11/17/18