The offseason can often feel like a brutal time to be a baseball fan. As teams struggle to make room on their 40-man roster, players find themselves in danger of literally not making the cut to be on the 2018 team.
In the case of the Rays, tough decisions were made in regards to the roster on Monday afternoon, and as a result catcher Curt Casali, right-handed pitcher Shawn Tolleson, and outfielder Cesar Puello were all outrighted, giving them free agency. Additionally, right-handed pitcher Taylor Guerrieri was claimed off outright waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays.
Casali was one of our picks last week to be cut or traded, simply because the Rays have both Wilson Ramos and Jesus Sucre on the roster.
Tolleson lost the entire 2017 after undergoing Tommy John surgery on May 17. He was seen as a promising relief pitcher, and if he can stay healthy, should have no problem finding a home in one of the league’s bullpens.
Puello spent barely over a month with the team after being claimed off waivers from the Los Angeles Angels on August 19th. He had made his major league debut only 10 days earlier on August 9th.
Guerrieri, like Tolleson, missed the bulk of the season due to injury. He was a former first round pick of the Rays in 2011. Guerrieri showed a lot of promise in the minors, with a 25-13 record and a 2.51 ERA. He’ll likely start the season for the Jays in the minor leagues.
With these moves, the Rays 40-man roster is now at 32 players.