This afternoon, it was announced that Bobby Wilson has elected to become a free agent rather than to accept an assignment to the minor leagues after the Rays out-righted him off of the 40-man roster.
Wilson split time during the 2016 season with three separate teams as he spent the month of April with Detroit after they acquired from the Rangers towards the end of spring training, then he was traded back to Texas in early May. He would be designated for assignment in late July and the Rays swooped in with a waiver claim in early August.
Over the course of his well traveled season he slashed .237/.270/.355 with a career high 7 HR over 75 games, good for 64 wRC+ and played exactly at replacement level as finished the year with 0.0 fWAR. His bat will always be lackadaisical, but his ability behind the plate is what keeps him in the majors, and Marc Topkin even speculates that he’ll receive a major league deal this off-season.
The major news for the Rays though is that his departure creates another much needed spot on the 40-man roster, which is now down to 36 players. They have until Friday to add any Rule 5 eligible players so they can be protected from the upcoming draft in December.