Advertisement
  1. Rays

Rays expected to pursue catcher Welington Castillo

Published Dec. 3, 2016

ST. PETERSBURG — There were no surprises Friday as the Rays tendered contracts to all of their majors-most 11 arbitration-eligible players.

But an unexpected decision by the Diamondbacks not to tender Welington Castillo put the Rays in position to fill one of their main offseason goals in landing a proven catcher.

The Rays have definite interest and are expected to aggressively pursue Castillo, 29, who hit .264 with 14 homers, 68 RBIs and a .745 OPS in 113 games last year. Castillo, considered an average pitch framer, was projected to make $5.9 million in his final year of arbitration eligibility.

The Rays made room on the 40-man roster, for Castillo or another acquisition (such as a Rule 5 draft pick), by nontendering infielder Ryan Brett, who missed last season with injury.

The 11 arbitration eligible are projected to make around $35 million. That includes three who qualified under the Super 2 provision based on service time: Gold Glove winning centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier, reliever Danny Farquhar and infielder Tim Beckham.

Kiermaier, whose two years and 131 days service was believed to be right at the cutoff, will make an additional $2 million, with a projected salary of $2.5 million to $3 million rather than the $540,000 or so he was in line for.

Also, Kiermaier, Faquahar and Beckham get to be eligible for arbitration four times rather than the standard three.

The full list, including projected salaries:

Left-hander Drew Smyly ($7 million), right-hander Alex Cobb ($4-5M), right-hander Erasmo Ramirez ($3-4M), infielder Brad Miller ($3-4M), right-hander Jake Odorizzi ($3-4M), outfielder Corey Dickerson ($3-4M), Kiermaier ($2.5-3M), right-hander Brad Boxberger ($1-1.5M), left-hander Xavier Cedeno ($800K-$1.5M), Farquhar ($800K-$1.5M), Beckham ($800K-$1.5M).

Rays hire Figueroa

During a nine-year pro career that included parts of three seasons in the majors, including 2014 with the Rays, infielder Cole Figueroa's interests in the game always extended beyond playing.

Now Figueroa, 29, will get to explore those areas after joining the Rays front office as a baseball development assistant, with assorted duties and responsibilities including bridging the analytical/onfield information gap.

"It's something I've always been interested in and I got the opportunity to do that so I jumped at it,'' he said. "I think I'll end up touching a lot of different areas initially.''

Marc Topkin can be reached at mtopkin@tampabay.com.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Pat Williams is the former GM of the Orlando Magic basketball team and was involved in unsuccessful efforts to lure an expansion team in the 1990s. JASON DECROW  |  AP
    Longtime sports exec Pat Williams is holding a news conference Wednesday to talk about getting a team.
  2. Tampa Bay Rays' Carlos Pena hits a sixth-inning solo home run off New York Yankees pitcher Sidney Ponson in their baseball game at Yankee Stadium on July 9, 2008. KATHY WILLENS  |  AP
    Just the other day, Pena’s son asked him about being considered for the Hall.
  3. FILE - In this Sept. 20, 2019, file photo, Miami Marlins CEO Derek Jeter smiles as he speaks during a news conference in Miami. Derek Jeter is among 18 newcomers on the 2020 Hall of Fame ballot, announced Monday, Nov. 18, 2019, and is likely to be an overwhelming choice to join former New York Yankees teammate Mariano Rivera in Cooperstown after the reliever last year became the first unanimous pick by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File) WILFREDO LEE  |  AP
    Former Rays Carlos Pena and Heath Bell are also among the 18 up for election for the first time.
  4. Long faces dominate some of the remaining Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans during the fourth quarter of the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New Orleans Saints at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday, November 17, 2019, in Tampa. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: What remaining game will Tampa Bay be favored to win?
  5. The cover of the book Grassroots Baseball: Where Legends Begin Courtesy Jean Fruth
    The 224-page book features a chapter on Tampa, and an essay by Hall of Famer Wade Boggs.
  6. Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) delivers a pitch in the fourth inning against the Houston Astros in Game 5 of the American League Division Series on Oct. 10 in Houston. DIRK SHADD  |  Times
    Rays Tales: Team execs on Houston’s big problem, a base for winter acquisitions, trophy time and an upcoming owners meeting.
  7. Jameis Winston (3) points to fans after the Bucs' 2017 victory over the New Orleans Saints. Tampa Bay Times
    Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Previewing Bucs-Saints, justice for the Astros, answers for the Lightning.
  8. FILE - In this July 24, 2019, file photo, Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander throws to an Oakland Athletics batter during a baseball game in Houston. Verlander has been awarded his second AL Cy Young Award. MICHAEL WYKE  |  AP
    The Mets’ Jacob deGrom wins the NL award for the second straight year.
  9. Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash talks with reporters in the dugout the day after clinching a playoff spot. DIRK SHADD  |  Times
    Former Ray Rocco Baldelli wins top honors after his first season with the Twins, Aaron Boone was second.
  10. Erik Neander, Tampa Bay Rays senior vice president of baseball operations and general manager, addresses the media during a press conference at Tropicana Field Friday, Oct. 11, 2019 in St. Petersburg. DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Award came from a vote of team executives; Yankees Cashman was second.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement