With the completion of the World Series, the 2017 Major league Baseball season is over and with the season’s passing, players who aren’t under contract for 2018 are now officially free agents.
The Rays have eight players who this applies to, with the most notable being Alex Cobb and Logan Morrison.
Alex Cobb had been with the Rays organization since being drafted in the 4th round of the 2006 draft by the then Devil Rays. If not for some bizarre injuries throughout his career, he could have been among the best pitchers in the league as he proved he can dominate whenever healthy. For this reason, he is sure to be one of the hotly sought after players on the open market and the Rays will likely reach out with a Qualifying Offer in order to be rewarded draft pick compensation should he sign elsewhere.
Logan Morrison returned to the Rays in 2017 after a somewhat disappointing 2016 campaign, and the Rays decision to bring him back payed dividends as Morrison belted 38 HR (second most in a single-season in Rays history) to go along with a slash of .239/.341/.459, good for a 120 wRC+ and 3.7 fWAR.
The Rays bullpen is also going to have considerable losses, as Tommy Hunter, Steve Cishek, and Sergio Romo are all on the open market. The trio were three of the team’s top relievers in baseball during the 2017 season, with Romo and Cishek helping turn the Rays bullpen into one of their best assets after the trade deadline.
Another trade deadline acquisition, Lucas Duda, also became a free agent. After the Rays acquired him from the Mets, Duda hit home runs and not much else as he slashed .175/.285/.444 with 13 HR over 200 PA.
Two role players, INF Trevor Plouffe and OF Peter Bourjos were the remaining Rays to become free agents.
Although these eight players are officially free agents now, the Rays still have a five day window to exclusively negotiate with them in order to potentially bring them back into the fold for 2018.
Also, OF Colby Rasmus is officially no longer a member of the Tampa Bay Rays. He left the team following the All-Star Break for personal reasons, forfeiting his remaining contract figures. If he returns to baseball, he is free to sign with whomever.