)
Advertisement
  1. Sports
  2. /
  3. Rays

Rays drop Ryan Yarbrough in shuffle to add 5 prospects to roster

Javy Guerra and Bligh Madris also are designated for assignment. JT Chargois and Miles Mastrobuoni are traded.
Veteran lefty Ryan Yarbrough was among five players dropped from the Rays’ 40-man roster Tuesday to make room for prospects.
Veteran lefty Ryan Yarbrough was among five players dropped from the Rays’ 40-man roster Tuesday to make room for prospects. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]
Published Nov. 15|Updated Nov. 16

ST. PETERSBURG — Ryan Yarbrough has pitched more innings for the Rays than anyone since joining the team in 2018.

But the combination of several numbers — his 40-31 record and 4.33 earned-run average over that span, spots on the 40-man roster and his projected $4.2 million arbitration salary — brought an apparent end to his Tampa Bay tenure Tuesday.

Yarbrough was designated for assignment, one of five players dropped from the roster as the Rays created space to add prospects to protect them from the Dec. 8 Rule 5 draft.

Reliever JT Chargois was traded, along with infield prospect Xavier Edwards, to the Marlins for two young pitchers, which was something the Rays wanted to add. Rookie infielder/outfielder Miles Mastrobuoni was sent to the Cubs for another Class A right-hander. Reliever Javy Guerra and outfielder Bligh Madris also were designated for assignment.

The Rays added their top two prospects, right-hander Taj Bradley and infielder Curtis Mead, and three others: reliever Colby White (who is recovering from April Tommy John elbow surgery), and infielders Osleivis Basabe and Greg Jones.

The Rays on Tuesday added right-hander Taj Bradley, one of their two top prospects, to their 40-man roster.
The Rays on Tuesday added right-hander Taj Bradley, one of their two top prospects, to their 40-man roster. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]

General manager Peter Bendix said the decisions were tough, which was a good thing.

“Ultimately, that’s what we’re hoping for,” he said. “The more difficult these decisions, probably the better the state of our farm system and our organization.”

That was especially the case with Yarbrough, the lefty who worked 579-2/3 innings in 127 games. The Rays will have a couple more days to try to trade him, then likely not tender a contract by Friday’s deadline, making him a free agent. He would be able to sign with any team (including Tampa Bay) for any salary, no longer benefiting from the arbitration system.

“‘Yarbs’ has been a really important piece to what we’ve done over the last several years,” Bendix said. “He takes the ball in any circumstance, whether he’s starting, whether he’s bulking, whether he’s opening, whatever it might be, and he eats innings for us. He goes out there, he competes, and he’s pitched really well for us. So that was certainly one of the hardest decisions that we had to make (Tuesday).

“Ultimately, it comes down to a bit of a numbers game with regard to our roster and how we’re trying to manage things. But that wasn’t easy. ... I’m confident he’s gonna land on his feet.”

Chargois, a touted July 2021 acquisition from Seattle for Diego Castillo, missed much of the season with an oblique injury, did just okay when healthy (2-0, 2.42 ERA in 21 games) and is out of options, meaning he would have to be on the 2023 roster. Edwards, acquired from San Diego in December 2019, was on the bubble to be added to the roster. For them, the Rays got minor-league right-handers Marcus Johnson (a 2022 fourth-round pick from Duke) and 17-year-old Santiago Suarez.

Want more than just the box score?

Want more than just the box score?

Subscribe to our free Rays Report newsletter

Columnist John Romano will send the latest Rays insights and analysis to keep you updated weekly during the season.

You’re all signed up!

Want more of our free, weekly newsletters in your inbox? Let’s get started.

Explore all your options

Johnson was 1-3 with a 5.94 ERA in five games between the Florida Complex League team and Class A Jupiter. Suarez was 1-1, 2.31 in the Dominican League.

JT Chargois, a touted July 2021 acquisition from Seattle for Diego Castillo, missed much of the 2022 season with an oblique injury.
JT Chargois, a touted July 2021 acquisition from Seattle for Diego Castillo, missed much of the 2022 season with an oblique injury. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]

Mastrobuoni, a 27-year-old who made an unexpected big-league debut in September after a strong Triple-A season, was swapped for Alfredo Zarraga, a right-handed reliever from Venezuela.

Zarraga, who turns 22 on Thursday, was 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA in 17 games for two Cubs Class A teams, striking out 29 in 18-2/3 innings in his first pro season. He fractured his right hand in early August and missed the rest of the season.

The Rays also traded infield prospect Brett Wisely to the Giants for minor-league outfielder Tristan Peters.

Guerra was the Rays’ top minor-league reliever for his work at Triple-A but wasn’t overly impressive in two big-league stints, going 2-1 with a 3.38 ERA in 17 games. He also is likely to be non-tendered Friday and could be re-signed to a minor-league deal.

“He’s a converted infielder who hasn’t had a ton of time to develop, and we saw real progress there,” Bendix said. “Unfortunately, he’s kind of a victim of the numbers game here at the end. But I think he’s got a lot of development in front of him as well, and we’ll see how that plays out.”

Madris was claimed off waivers from Pittsburgh in September and played at Triple-A Durham.

Bradley, a 21-year-old who was a fifth-round pick in 2018, and Mead, a 22-year-old acquired in a seemingly small November 2019 trade, both worked their up way to Triple-A last season and will have a chance to play in the majors in 2023.

Bradley was a combined 12-3, 1.83 in splitting 2021 between Class A Charleston and Bowling Green. He started this season at Double-A Montgomery, going 3-1 with a 1.70 ERA in 16 starts, then moved in late July to Durham, where he was 4-3, 3.66 in 12 starts.

Mead hit a combined .298 with 13 homers, 50 RBIs and a .922 OPS in 76 games with the Biscuits and Bulls. A right elbow strain in late July sidelined him for a month and eventually ended his season in late August.

Jones, the Rays’ top 2019 pick, had a rough and injury-marred 2022 season at Montgomery. Basabe, acquired from Texas in December 2020 in the Nate Lowe trade, split the season between Bowling Green and Montgomery. White, who is expected back in May or June, climbed four levels to Durham during a dazzling 2021 before he was injured in spring 2022.

Tuesday’s moves

Designated for assignment

• RHP Javy Guerra

• OF Bligh Madris

• LHP Ryan Yarbrough

Traded

• RHP JT Chargois, INF Xavier Edwards to Marlins for minor-league RHPs Marcus Johnson, Santiago Suarez

• INF/OF Miles Mastrobuoni to Cubs for minor-league RHP Alfredo Zárraga

• INF Brett Wisely to Giants for minor-league OF Tristan Peters

Added to 40-man roster

• INF Osleivis Basabe

• RHP Taj Bradley

• INF Greg Jones

• INF Curtis Mead

• RHP Colby White

• • •

Sign up for the Rays Report weekly newsletter to get fresh perspectives on the Tampa Bay Rays and the rest of the majors from sports columnist John Romano.

Never miss out on the latest with the Bucs, Rays, Lightning, Florida college sports and more. Follow our Tampa Bay Times sports team on Twitter and Facebook.

Advertisement

This site no longer supports your current browser. Please use a modern and up-to-date browser version for the best experience.

Chrome Firefox Safari Edge