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Rays excited to see, hear ex-teammate Joey Wendle

Notes | The Marlins infielder, who spent four years in Tampa Bay, missed the first reunion in May due to injury.
Rays manager Kevin Cash says he can't wait to see Marlins third baseman Joey Wendle. "I’ll give him a big hug — and probably talk trash while he’s hitting.”
Rays manager Kevin Cash says he can't wait to see Marlins third baseman Joey Wendle. "I’ll give him a big hug — and probably talk trash while he’s hitting.” [ DANIEL A. VARELA | Miami Herald ]
Published Aug. 29

MIAMI — When the Rays and Marlins played the first time this season, in late May at Tropicana Field, infielder Joey Wendle missed the reunion due to injury, so he and manager Kevin Cash had to settle for teasing each other via texts.

When they play the second half of the Citrus Series starting Tuesday night at LoanDepot Park, Wendle and Cash will be able to make it personal.

“I’m really, really expecting him to be in our locker room when we show up and kind of (have his) feet up on Cash’s desk to make some jokes,” second baseman Brandon Lowe said. “That would just be too perfect.”

Wendle and Cash had a special relationship during their 2018-21 time together, and an interesting way of showing it by constantly jabbing at each other, even after his November 2021 trade to Miami.

“I can’t wait to see him,” Cash said. “I genuinely am looking forward to seeing him. I’ll give him a big hug — and probably talk trash while he’s hitting.”

Plus, Cash figures Wendle will have some ammo of his own. “I’m sure he will, maybe for all of us,” Cash said. “But it’ll be good to see him.”

Rays players who competed alongside Wendle during his 2018-21 tenure in Tampa Bay universally rave about him.

“I love Joey,” reliever Colin Poche said. “He’s probably one of the best teammates that I’ve had. Just an all-around good guy, always has positive energy and always has your back.

“So it was a real pleasure to play with him. I’m looking forward to seeing him again. I’ve never heard a bad word about Joey.”

Seeing him get traded wasn’t fun.

“I’m excited,” Lowe said. “Me and Joey are pretty close. It was a really, really sad day to see him go. But to see him — hopefully he’s healthy, still doing what Joey Wendle does and playing great baseball.”

Incentives for Tyler Glasnow

In signing a 2024 extension for a team record-tying $25 million salary, Tyler Glasnow said he is quite motivated to make it pay off for the Rays.

“Knowing that they put that faith in me and they’re willing to give me a contract of that size, it drives me to really — not any added pressure or anything — but I want to contribute as much as I possibly can,” he said. “I want this to be, in a sense, like a discount. I want to outperform it by a lot.”

If he does perform well, there are some clauses in the deal — for both 2023, when he will get $5.35 million, in what would have been his final year of arbitration, and in 2024 — that could further enhance his compensation.

Specifically, a $1 million bonus for winning the Cy Young Award (with $500,000 for second, and $250,000 for third to fifth) and a $50,000 bonus for making the All-Star team. Also, if Glasnow gets traded during that time, he gets a $1 million assignment bonus.

Miscellany

Shane McClanahan on Tuesday faces the Marlins, whom he dominated in a May 24 outing, throwing six shutout innings, allowing four hits and striking out nine. ... With his last at-bat, two-RBI single Sunday, Taylor Walls improved his road batting average to .112 with a .372 OPS. He is hitting .248 with a .763 OPS at the Trop. … The Florida Complex League Rays lost 4-3 to the Yankees on Sunday in Port Charlotte in the third and decisive game of the championship series.

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