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17 Rays granted minor league free agency

Players like Hak-Ju Lee and Jose Dominguez are now free to choose where they play next

Hak-Ju Lee can sign with any organization now to try to resurrect his career
Hak-Ju Lee can sign with any organization now to try to resurrect his career
Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

On Tuesday, Baseball America conveyed the list of 2015 minor league free agents provided by Major League Baseball. Per BA, they qualify for free agency because the Rays hit the limit of six one-year contract renewals and are not on the 40-man roster, or they have previously been released. Here are the Rays that were:

C Mayo Acosta: The Rays clearly like Acosta, who was re-signed after becoming a minor league free agent in each of the last two offseasons. He has to be a good soldier since he has only played 48 games for Durham between the last two seasons. He is the champion of the paper move, frequently being assigned to Hudson Valley unofficially to make room on Durham's roster for someone else.

LHP Jeff Beliveau: Beliveau showed promise in 24 innings in 2014, but a torn labrum early in 2015 throws his career in doubt. He was outrighted off the 40-man roster by the Rays at the start of the offseason, but I wonder if something could be worked out for him to rehab with the organization.

OF Corey Brown: Brown had one fewer ML plate appearance in 2015 than he did in 2014, when he batted once for the Red Sox. He was tied for second on Durham with 19 home runs and added 15 steals. If he lands a job for 2016, he needs just one more Triple-A home run for 100 in his career.

OF Jose Constanza: Constanza played in five games for Durham in September and then was not called up by the Rays. Hopefully those games were worth it.

LHP Scott Diamond: The Rays signed Diamond just before the start of the season to bolster Durham's pitching staff. The 29-year-old threw a lot of strikes and led the Bulls with 150 1/3 innings but has not pitched in the big leagues since 2013.

RHP Jose Dominguez: Acquired from Andrew Friedman and the Dodgers last November, the fireballing Dominguez made just four appearances for the Rays. Shoulder problems have been a frequent issue for the 25-year-old reliever, and he was designated for assignment in August. Because of his velocity, he should get a chance somewhere.

C Wilmer Dominguez: Dominguez played even less than Acosta. After not appearing in a full-season league until 2015, he played just three games for Montgomery and Durham.

RHP Ely Echarry: Echarry, 23, last pitched in the organization in 2014 and missed all of 2015 due to an injury. After debuting with the Rays in the Venezuelan Summer League in 2009, he made just four appearances above short-season leagues.

IF Jake Elmore: Elmore was sprung into action with the Rays after they were hammered with injuries throughout 2015. He set a career high in plate appearances for a season, but by and large they were not very good. He's still 28, and his flexibility on the diamond should draw interest.

2B Hector Guevara: Guevara was once considered a top-20 prospect in the Appalachian League, but he has not hit at all since that 2010 season. Because he's still just 24, he may land another job since he can play three infield positions.

RHP Bradin Hagens: The Rays traded cash to Arizona to get Hagens just before the 2015 season started. The 26-year-old made two big league appearances for the Diamondbacks in 2014 but could not make it back with the Rays. He was, however, an effective groundball pitcher in a swing role for Montgomery and Durham, pitching to a 3.43 ERA in 30 games (20 starts).

SS Hak-Ju Lee: Lee was once the centerpiece of the trade that sent Matt Garza to the Cubs, but Chris Archer has made a decent case for himself as that player since. A devastating knee injury cut his 2013 season short, and he has not been the same since. The writing was on the wall when he was designated for assignment in September.

RHP Matt Lollis: In the seven-player trade with San Diego that also netted the Rays Matt Andriese and Logan Forsythe, they got Lollis, a former hot prospect. The 6-foot-9, 250-pound monster never could put it together as a starter, but he struck out 62 in 63 2/3 innings in relief for Montgomery in 2015 and shouldn't have a problem finding work since he's still just 25.

RHP Jhan Marinez: Once traded for Ozzie Guillen, Marinez's last major league appearance came just days before Guillen's in 2012. 2015 saw him pitch effectively for the first time in a while, and that should help the 27-year-old reliever land a job next season. He struck out 65 in 61 innings for Durham.

RHP Jim Miller: Miller made cameos in each of the four last seasons for three different teams, but he could not make it five in a row with the Rays. The 33-year-old struck out 65 and walked 12 in 74 1/3 innings for Durham, so his time in pro baseball probably isn't done yet.

IF Leonardo Reginatto: Representing Brazil in the World Baseball Classic in 2013 is probably going to be the highlight of Reginatto's career. He was a good soldier for the Rays in 2015, bouncing between two levels at multiple positions. His .269 average for Montgomery and Durham was his lowest since an ugly season in 2011 with Hudson Valley.

LHP Robert Zarate: Zarate had not pitched in affiliated baseball since 2008, but he made an impression in his return with the Rays. At 28, he's still young enough for a team to give him another shot. In 17 games (five starts) with Durham, he struck out 49 and walked 15 in 40 1/3 innings, limiting lefties to a .355 OPS.