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Rays pick up option on Nathan Eovaldi; Activate Matt Duffy, Shawn Tolleson, and Taylor Gurrieri

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Eovaldi has a shot at being part of the 2018 starting rotation

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays-Media Day Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Rays announced on Thursday evening that they have chosen to accept Nathan Eovaldi’s club option for the 2018 season. The decision came as part of a small flurry of roster moves in which they also activated pitchers Taylor Gurrieri and Shawn Tolleson as well as shortstop Matt Duffy from the 60-day disabled list.

The Rays signed Eovaldi last offseason to a one year deal with an option for a second year depending on how his rehab went. Eovaldi underwent his second Tommy John surgery in August of 2016. His rehabilitation went well, and his velocity reportedly reached into the triple digits during his return to the mound. If the Rays had been in contention towards the end of the season, there’s a chance Eovaldi would have been activated.

Taylor Gurrieri, one of the Rays 2011 first round draft picks, has been a disappointment, with poor performance and injuries diminishing his prospect status. He only made two starts in 2017, before being shutdown with an elbow strain, but he didn’t undergo a second surgery.

Shawn Tolleson was a disappointing free agent signing for the Rays as they hoped he’d help bridge the gap and serve as a high leverage reliever in the late innings of ball games, but after just a few games with the team in spring training, he was shut down and ultimately had to undergo Tommy John surgery.

Matt Duffy’s heel just would never heal. After being shutdown during the final month of 2016, Duffy underwent surgery with the hope he’d be ready for Opening Day. Unfortunately, he suffered multiple setbacks every time the finish line seemed within sight. He did not play in a major league game during the 2017 season.

The Rays parted ways with eight players — nine if you include Colby Rasmus — with Alex Cobb and Logan Morrison among the notable players to become free agents.

The Rays 40-man roster now has 36 players on it.