ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays gave up waiting for Enny Romero to gain control of his blazing fastball, trading the disappointing lefty reliever to Washington.
The return Tuesday was low-level pitching prospect Jeffrey Rosa, but what the Rays really got was a spot on the 40-man roster to add first baseman Logan Morrison, who last week agreed to a one-year, $2.5 million deal with $1.25 million in incentives.
The Rays have seemed intent on pairing lefty-swinging Morrison with a right-handed hitter, or at least adding one, but those options are shrinking.
Tuesday, Chris Carter took a one-year, $3.5 million offer in picking the Yankees over the Rays. "Chris felt the opportunity was the same," agent Dave Stewart said, which, though he declined to get into specifics, seemed to imply the money was not.
With Mike Napoli going, as expected, to Texas, the free agent market seems down to switch-hitting catcher Matt Wieters, first baseman/DH Billy Butler and outfielder Franklin Gutierrez. Trade options include C.J. Cron (Angels) and Byung Ho Park (Twins), and likely others. The Rays may end up waiting to see who else becomes available with Rickie Weeks, signed to a minor-league deal, as a fallback.
Romero's fastball averaged 96.1 mph last year, but he couldn't control it, going 2-0, 5.91 with 28 walks and 50 strikeouts in 452/3 innings over 52 games. Plus, he's out of options. Rosa, 21, was 0-4, 4.91 in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League.
Marc Topkin can be reached at [email protected] Follow @TBTimes_Rays.