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Rays lose Sherriff, Drake, Reed as roster shuffle begins

Tampa Bay needed to clear space on the 40-man roster to reinstate a half-dozen pitchers on the 60-day injured list, including Tyler Glasnow and Yonny Chirinos.
Oliver Drake cleared waivers and became a free agent after back-to-back seasons wiped out by arm injuries. Drake was one of Tampa Bay's most dependable relievers in 2019, when he went 5-2 with two saves in 50 appearances.
Oliver Drake cleared waivers and became a free agent after back-to-back seasons wiped out by arm injuries. Drake was one of Tampa Bay's most dependable relievers in 2019, when he went 5-2 with two saves in 50 appearances. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]
Published Nov. 5, 2021

ST. PETERSBURG — The inevitable churning of the Rays’ bullpen began this week with lefthanded reliever Ryan Sherriff being claimed by the Phillies off waivers, along with Cody Reed and Oliver Drake becoming free agents after going unclaimed on waivers.

Tampa Bay needed to clear space because players on the 60-day injured list need to be reinstated to the 40-man roster by Sunday.

Drake, 34, found a home with the Rays after bouncing between five different organizations in 2018. He was 5-2 with a 3.21 ERA in 50 appearances in 2019 but had arm troubles the following season. He suffered a flexor strain during the 2020 postseason, was waived in the offseason, re-signed with the Rays but did not pitch in 2021.

Sherriff, 31, played a minor role in the Rays’ pennant race in 2020, going 1-0 with one save in 9-2/3 scoreless innings in the final month of the season. Added to the World Series roster, he threw two hitless innings in relief against the Dodgers in two appearances.

Sherriff struggled to find a role in 2021 and bounced between Triple-A and Tampa Bay. He finished the season with a 5.52 ERA in 16 appearances for the Rays.

Reed, 28, was traded to the Rays from the Reds 15 months ago but struggled with numbness in his pitching hand, which led to season-ending surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome in June.

Righthanded pitchers Chris Mazza and DJ Johnson also cleared waivers this week and were outrighted to Triple-A Durham. They will become minor league free agents on Sunday.

With Nelson Cruz, Michael Wacha, Collin McHugh and David Robertson filing for free agency this week, the Rays now have 34 players on the 40-man roster. That, potentially, allows Tyler Glasnow, Yonny Chirinos, Jalen Beeks, Colin Poche, Ryan Thompson and Jeffrey Springs to be reinstated to the roster from the 60-day IL by Sunday’s deadline.

Chris Archer, Chaz Roe and Tommy Hunter were also on the 60-day IL but have filed for free agency.

John Romano can be reached at jromano@tampabay.com. Follow @romano_tbtimes.

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