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Player News - Rays

Date: Team: Pos:

Blake Snell was named the winner of the 2018 American League Cy Young Award.

Snell pitched just 180 2/3 total innings in 2018, a much smaller number than fellow finalists Justin Verlander and Corey Kluber, but the 25-year-old Tampa Bay left-hander still managed a league-high 21 wins and 221 strikeouts alongside a stellar 1.89 ERA. Snell received 17 of the 30 first-place votes. Verlander got the other 13 for his third career second-place finish. He won the award in 2011.
Source: BBWAA.com
Nov 14 - 6:21 PM

Rays signed LHP Ryan Merritt to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Merritt spent the entire 2018 season at Triple-A Columbus, where he posted a 3.79 ERA, 1.178 WHIP, and 52/2 K/BB ratio in 13 starts and two relief appearances covering 71 1/3 innings. The 26-year-old southpaw's elite control could lead him back to the majors with the Rays in 2019. He put up an impressive 1.71 ERA in 31 2/3 innings with the Indians between 2016-2017.
Nov 13 - 11:39 PM

Rays acquired LHP Michael Plassmeyer, C Mike Zunino, and OF Guillermo Heredia from the Mariners for OF Mallex Smith and OF Jake Fraley.

Plassmeyer, a fourth-round pick in 2018 out of the University of Missouri, is far more than a minor throw-in here. The 22-year-old southpaw registered a promising 2.25 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, and 44/4 K/BB ratio over his first 24 professional innings this past season at Low-A Everett. He has the command and swing-and-miss stuff to rise quickly through the Tampa Bay farm system.
Nov 8 - 12:18 PM

Rays acquired OF Guillermo Heredia, C Mike Zunino, and LHP Michael Plassmeyer from the Mariners for OF Mallex Smith and OF Jake Fraley.

Heredia holds a weak .244/.321/.336 career batting line in 293 career major league games, but the 27-year-old can play all three outfield positions and should be in the running for a spot on the Rays' bench next spring. He's still pre-arbitration, so it's a cheap depth addition for Tampa Bay.
Nov 8 - 12:15 PM

Rays acquired C Mike Zunino, OF Guillermo Heredia, and LHP Michael Plassmeyer from the Mariners for OF Mallex Smith and OF Jake Fraley.

The deal was agreed upon Wednesday and has now been made official upon the completion of physical exams. Zunino finished the 2018 season with a brutal .201 batting average and .259 on-base percentage, but he has 25-homer power and has become a very good defensive catcher. The 27-year-old will be under the Rays' control through 2020. He is arbitration-eligible for the second time this winter.
Nov 8 - 12:05 PM

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic confirms that the Rays are in agreement on a trade for Mariners catcher Mike Zunino.

Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports that the Mariners will get Mallex Smith and minor league outfielder Jake Fraley in return, with Guillermo Heredia and minor league left-hander Michael Plassmeyer (a fourth-round pick in 2018) also accompanying Zunino to Tampa Bay. The deal is only pending the completion of physical exams. This could be the start of a big offseason firesale in Seattle, and a sign that the Rays are planning to spend some money to upgrade a roster that went 41-25 in the second half of the 2018 campaign. Zunino is arbitration-eligible for the second time this winter after netting $2.975 million this past season.
Nov 7 - 9:58 PM

According to Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times, the Rays and Mariners are nearing a trade involving catcher Mike Zunino.

Divish hears that Tampa Bay would get Zunino and outfielder Guillermo Heredia in exchange for outfielder Mallex Smith and a "low level minor league prospect." The deal could be finalized by Thursday. Zunino had a disappointing showing with the bat in 2018, but he posted an .840 OPS with 25 home runs and 64 RBI over 124 games in 2017 and he's a pretty good defender behind the plate. The 27-year-old backstop is under team control through 2020.
Nov 7 - 9:22 PM

Rays signed OF Jake Smolinski to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Smolinski missed a large portion of the 2018 season with a blood clot in his left leg and was outrighted off the Athletics' 40-man roster in October. The 29-year-old outfielder is a .235/.299/.363 career hitter in the major leagues.
Nov 7 - 8:40 PM

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Mariners have talked to the Rays about a trade involving Mike Zunino.

With the Mariners reportedly considering selling off some parts, Zunino is a logical candidate to be moved. He's under team control for two more years. As for the Rays, Nick Ciuffo and Michael Perez are the only catchers on their 40-man roster. Zunino is coming off a down year with the bat (.201/.259/.410), but he provides value behind the plate.
Nov 6 - 2:15 PM

Blake Snell, Justin Verlander and Corey Kluber were announced on Monday as finalists for the 2018 American League Cy Young award.

Snell (180 2/3) didn't throw nearly as many innings as Verlander (214) or Kluber (215), but he's still probably the favorite here after posting a 1.89 ERA with 221 strikeouts while going 21-5. The winner will be announced next Wednesday.
Nov 5 - 6:32 PM
C.J. Cron - DH - Rays

Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports the Rays are likely to trade designated hitter C.J. Cron this offseason.

Cron hit 30 home runs this year but the Rays are looking for "more of a feared overall hitter." The longballs are nice but his run production didn't benefit that much from the power output. He batted .253/.323/.493 with 74 RBI and 68 runs scored in 560 plate appearances. His lack of defensive ability is also a concern for a team that values positional flexibility. Cron made $2.3 million in 2018 and is likely to get a big raise in salary arbitration this winter. He is under team control for two more seasons before achieving free agency after the 2020 campaign.
Nov 3 - 10:50 AM

Vidal Nuno has elected free agency.

Nuno declined an outright assignment by the Rays and is now free to sign elsewhere. The southpaw posted a 1.64 ERA over 17 appearances this season.
Nov 2 - 5:42 PM

Rays sent RHP Andrew Kittredge outright to Triple-A Durham.

Kittredge holds a 6.04 ERA across 48 appearances over the last two seasons. He's now off the 40-man roster.
Nov 2 - 5:41 PM

Rays activated RHP Jose Mujica from the 60-day disabled list.

Mujica is back on the 40-man roster, but he will be sidelined until 2020 while recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Nov 2 - 3:32 PM

Dodgers activated RHP Wilmer Font from the 60-day disabled list.

Font's 2018 season ended early because of a lat strain. He's now back on the 40-man roster.
Nov 2 - 3:31 PM


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