With six players eligible for arbitration, the Rays had to decide on which players they wanted to keep on the 40-man roster prior to Monday night’s 8:00 p.m. non-tender deadline. At 6:50 pm, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reported that the Rays decided to non-tender outfielder Guillermo Heredia, making him a free agent.
#Rays have non-tendered OF Guillermo Heredia. Kept Roe. no trades.— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) December 2, 2019
The 28-year-old outfielder was projected to make $1.1 million in arbitration this offseason, according to MLB Trade Rumors. Coming off a sub-par season offensively, Heredia was the team’s fourth/fifth outfielder, amassing only 231 plate appearances in 89 games.
With most of his value coming in the form of defense, Heredia slashed a paltry .225/.306/.363 with a wRC+ of 82 in 2019, although his splits against left-handed pitchers were much better, slashing .281/.339/.456 with a 114 wRC+ in 124 plate appearances. Topkin also reports that the Rays are not ruling out bringing Heredia back in 2020, but the Rays will more than likely be looking to upgrade from Heredia this offseason.
The five Rays players staying on the roster are Tommy Pham ($8.6M arbitration projection), Chaz Roe ($2.2M), Tyler Glasnow, ($1.9M), Oliver Drake ($1.1M) and Daniel Robertson ($1.1M).
A few former Rays players were also non-tendered around the league, most notably Steven Souza Jr. by Arizona. C.J. Cron was non-tendered by Minnesota, Ian Gibaut non-tendered by Texas, and Tim Beckham was non-tendered by Seattle.