Puerto Rican native LHP Xavier Cedeno has been non-tendered by the Tampa Bay Rays.
Acquired from the Washington Nationals (via the Los Angeles Dodgers) for cash considerations through a waiver claim, Cedeno was an unexpected success for the Rays in 2015, emerging as a clubhouse leader in the bullpen with a 2.09 ERA for the club over 43 innings pitched.
From 2015-2016, Cedeno threw 84.1 IP with a 24.7% K, 7.8% BB, 2.88 ERA, 2.80 FIP, and .261 wOBA allowed.
Unfortunately, Cedeno was limited to nine appearances last season due to left forearm tightness, only totalling 3.0 innings in his age-30 season before succumbing to Tommy John surgery. The injury lead the Rays to aggressively promote LHP Jose Alvarado from Double-A and trade former first round draft pick 1B Casey Gillaspie for LHP Dan Jennings at the trade deadline.
With Alvarado and Jennings established in the bullpen, starter LHP Ryan Yarbrough waiting in the wings, and LHP’s Vidal Nuno and Adam Kolarek already signed to minor league deals, Cedeno’s 40-man roster spot became expendable.
#Rays tendered their other 9 arb eligibles: P Jake Odorizzi ($6.5M), OF/DH Corey Dickerson ($6.4M), P Alex Colome ($5.5M), SS Adeiny Hechavarria ($5M), INF Brad Miller ($4.4M), OF Steven Souza Jr. ($3.6M), P Dan Jennings ($2.5M), C Jesus Sucre ($1.3M), INF Matt Duffy ($900K)— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) December 2, 2017
The Rays roster now stands at 37 players after RHP Brad Boxberger was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks and RHP Chase Whitley was claimed by the Braves. The latter will convert back to starting in Atlanta.
The departure of all three relievers clears $2.8 million in contracts for 2018, with more trades sure to come.
Elsewhere around the league, former Rays starter LHP Drew Smyly (who was traded for OF Mallex Smith, SS Carlos Vargas, and the aforementioned Yarbrough) was non-tendered by the Mariners after requiring Tommy John surgery at the start of last season.