ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays started the formal process of clearing 40-man roster space by placing reliever Nick Anderson, a key member of their 2019 and ‘20 bullpens, on outright waivers.
If Anderson, who missed most of the last two seasons with elbow issues, is not claimed, he will be outrighted off the roster to Triple-A Durham but will have the option to declare for free agency and seek a major-league deal elsewhere. Efforts over the last week to trade Anderson, who had a 5.63 ERA in 17 games and inconsistent velocity at Durham, were unsuccessful.
Anderson, 32, is one of eight Rays players on the 60-day injured list who have to be reinstated to the 40-man roster or otherwise moved by 5 p.m. Thursday.
Second baseman Brandon Lowe and pitchers Shane Baz, JP Feyereisen and Andrew Kittredge will be reinstated, and likely Ryan Thompson as well. Veteran outfielder Kevin Kiermaier will become a free agent when the Rays decline his $13 million option and pay him a $2.5 million buyout. That leaves pitcher Brendan McKay, the oft-injured once-prized prospect who is sidelined until 2024 due to Tommy John elbow surgery, to potentially be dropped.
The Rays have 38 players on the roster, so they will have to create at least three other spots. If they don’t swing a trade, with the potential to move a lefty reliever among others, reliever Jimmy Yacabonis, infielder Miles Mastrobuoni, and outfielders Roman Quinn and Bligh Madris appear candidates to go.
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