The 6 p.m. ET deadline to add players to the 40-man roster in advance of the Rule 5 draft has passed, and the Rays were busy, adding outfielder Josh Lowe, right-handed pitcher Drew Strotman, and infielder Taylor Walls to the roster.
To make room on the roster, utilityman Brian O’Grady and outfielder Hunter Renfroe were designated for assignment.
Renfroe — acquired in the Tommy Pham trade a year ago — added power as advertised but posted career lows with a .156 average and .252 on-base percentage. He was entering his second season of arbitration eligibility.
O’Grady was added in a less significant trade with the Reds last offseason. He spent most of the season at the alternate site but did bat for the Rays five times.
The 22-year-old Lowe was set to miss roughly two months of the season due to shoulder surgery. He was coming off his best professional season, and with his defense, speed, and improving bat, he was certain to be selected in the Rule 5 draft. He batted .252 with a .341 on-base percentage and .442 slugging percentage with Double-A Montgomery in 2019.
Walls, 24, has been a steady performer over the last two seasons. The 2017 third-round pick reached Montgomery in his second full pro season, hitting .270/.343/.452 with 28 steals, albeit in 43 attempts. He hit a career-high 10 home runs despite missing time early in 2019 due to injury. For the first time in his career, he played second and third base.
Strotman was less certain to be added than Lowe and Walls. The 24-year-old righty was selected a round after Walls, but shortly after a strong pro debut, he needed Tommy John surgery. In 2019, he pitched just 24 innings in the Gulf Coast League and Florida State League. He was not at the team’s alternate site this season.
The 40-man roster is full.