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Rays face 40-man roster crunch

In 48 hours, the team may look a lot different.

The elusive Grayson Garvin
The elusive Grayson Garvin
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

When midnight strikes on November 20th, the deadline will pass for teams to lock in their 40-man rosters, with the only allowable changes coming through free agency or trades. As they sit currently, the Rays have a full 40-man roster with several notable top prospects not yet protected from other teams, so there are several moves to be made.

Certainly the Rays could pull off a surprising trade that no one is expecting, such as last year's trade of Joel Peralta and Adam Liberatore to the Dodgers. Moves could be as large as dealing Logan Forsythe or Jake McGee, but right now we'll take a look at the borderline players who could be moved, whether it be through a trade, or whether the Rays would simply choose to not tender that player a contract.

Joey Butler - OF

After having a decent spring training, and excelling in Durham, Butler found himself in the major leagues in early May and began to pummel opposing pitching until mid-June, when he finally went into a slump that lasted the for the rest of the year resulting in a demotion along the way. Butler did shine at least one more time though as he homered twice on the final day of the season, including the team's first grand slam in over a year.

Brandon Gomes - RHP

Arbitration eligible and projected to make $900K after a dreadful season of relief for the Rays. Gomes has always possessed nice stuff, but unfortunately that never translated to prolonged big league success and the Rays could easily find a replacement for him either through free agency or their own depth so Gomes is likely to be non-tendered.

Kirby Yates - RHP

In the same boat as Gomes, as he has excelled in the minors but has struggled during his limited stints on the mound and this could lead to him being designated for assignment. It's possible that the Rays would be able to keep him, but Yates may be on his way to free agency.

Daniel Nava - 1B/OF

A late season acquisition, Nava is strictly a fourth outfielder who has struggled for the past two years. He is arbitration eligible and is projected to make close to $2 million next year. An inexpensive costs to other teams, but probably more than the Rays want to pay to a struggling platoon bat.

Luke Maile - C

Promoted in September pretty much to take playing time away from Rene Rivera, Maile may be designated for assignment. He didn't bring much to the plate, registering six hits in 35 at-bats and didn't record a single walk. Maile's main source of talent is his glove, but they may not warrant him keeping a roster spot.

Rene Rivera - C

Acquired to be the team's starting catcher in 2015, Rivera was almost as abysmal as Jose Molina was in 2014 when he had one of the worst offensive years in recent memory. Rivera is arbitration eligible and is projected to make just over $3 million next season. A hefty sum considering both Curt Casali and J.P. Arencibia would costs much less, thus meaning Rivera may possibly be non-tendered if a trade can't be made.

Desmond Jennings - OF

"The next Carl Crawford" hasn't quite lived up to his unrealistic hype as injuries and under-performance have dragged down in his career to the point where he may not have a starting job in the outfield in 2016. Jennings is arbitration eligible and is projected to make just over $3 million, making him an expensive fourth outfielder.

James Loney - 1B

With a heavily back-loaded contract, Loney is scheduled to make close to $10 million in 2016. That amount would make him the second highest paid player on the team behind Evan Longoria. Loney didn't do all that much in 2015, but they may be due to injury, nonetheless it was one of the worst years for a first baseman in team history. Don't think the Rays would be willing to release him and eat what's left of his contract, but a trade may not bring back enough value for the team to deal him.

Grayson Garvin - LHP

One of the multiple first round picks of the infamous 2011 draft, Garvin has been successful during his time on a professional mound and was added to the 40-man roster last off-season to protect him from the rule-5 draft. However, Garvin has been injury prone throughout his career thus far as he underwent Tommy John Surgery in 2012, but worked his way back, only to get re-injure and miss the entire 2015 season.

Matt Andriese - RHP

It would be surprising, but the Rays may move Andriese in a deal like the Cesar Ramos one last season. Andriese doesn't seem to have a position in the starting rotation and may not work out in the bullpen making him an oddman out if the Rays need his space on the roster.

Logan Morrison - DH?

This one would be very surprising considering the Rays just added him a week ago, but he is arbitration eligible and is projected to make over $4 million. Morrison is likely Loney's replacement at first baseman, but if the Rays were unable to deal Loney, they could just non-tender Morrison and use the allotted money, elsewhere.


These 11 players will be up for consideration against at least 16 minor leaguers for the 40-man roster. Several will be left exposed to the Rule-5 draft, unless the Rays are able to clear much more space on the roster.