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Rays Invite 18 To Spring Training

Rays start filling out their spring training roster.

St Louis Cardinals v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images

The Rays have announced eighteen invites to spring training for players not on the 40 man roster.


  • Dana Eveland, LHP (33) Returned on MiLB deal after spending 2016 between the Rays and Durham.
  • Justin Marks, LHP (28) After a successful season with the Durham he earned a September callup and his first MLB action since 2014 with the Royals.
  • Diego Moreno, RHP (29) Spent 2016 between Trenton (Yankees AA) and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Yankees AAA). Spent time in the majors with the Yankees in 2015.
  • Neil Wagner, RHP (32) Spent 2016 between the Port Charlotte (A+) and Durham (AAA). Last pitched in the majors in 2014. Third season in the organization while returning from Tommy John Surgery.
  • Jeff Ames, RHP (25) Selected with the 42nd pick in the 2011 draft by the Rays. Spent 2016 as a reliever for the Montgomery Biscuits.
  • Andrew Kittredge, RHP (26) Made five starts and 32 relief appearances split between the Jackson (Mariners AA) and Tacoma (Mariners AAA). Acquired from the Mariners in the Shaffer/Motter deal.
  • Michael McKenry, C (31) Journeyman veteran catcher that signed a minor league deal earlier this week.
  • Nick Ciuffo, C (21) Spent 2016 in Port Charlotte (A+). First round pick in the 2013 draft.
  • Jonah Heim, C (21) Acquired in the Steve Pearce deal from the Orioles. Played in Port Charlotte to end the season.
  • Casey Gillaspie, 1B (23) Shook off the struggles in Port Charlotte (A+) before breaking his hand in 2015. Strong seasons in Montgomery (AA) and Durham (AAA). Rays first round pick in 2014.
  • Dalton Kelly, 1B (22) Acquired in the Shaffer/Motter deal from the Mariners. Played for Clifton (A). 38th round pick in 2015 draft out of the University of California - Santa Barbara.
  • Jake Bauers, 1B/OF (21) Acquired in the Wil Myers deal from the Padres in 2014. Seventh round pick in 2013 draft.
  • Ryan Brett 2B/CF (25) Signed minor-league deal after being non tendered earlier this month. Missed the 2016 season due to Tommy John Surgery.
  • Jake Hager, IF (23) Split 2016 between Montgomery (AA) and Durham (AAA) after missing the 2015 season due to knee surgery. 32nd overall pick in the 2011 draft.
  • Patrick Leonard, IF/OF (24) Split 2016 between Montgomery (AA) and Durham (AAA). Played 1B/3B/LF/CF/RF/DH.
  • Shane Peterson, OF (28) Signed minor-league deal earlier this week. Missed most of the 2016 season due to two trips to the disabled list. Spent time in 2015 with the Brewers.
  • Johnny Field, OF (24) Split time between Montgomery (AA) and Durham (AAA). Survived the Rule 5 draft and was drafted in the fifth round of the 2013 draft.
  • Dayron Varona, OF (28) Spent 2016 with Durham. Signed as a free agent out of Cuba in 2015.

The 40 man roster is filled with pitchers, so there are more position players among the non-roster invites. Jonah Heim, Dalton Kelly, and Andrew Kittredge earned invites after coming over via trade since July.

The reliever group isn’t very inspiring, but there should be more to come.

The highlights include Rays Minor League Player of the Year Casey Gillaspie, Minor League Defender of the Year Nick Ciuffo, and Double-A MVP Jake Bauers.

Only 52 days remain until pitchers and catchers report for spring training.