MLB teams had to decide whom to protect from the Rule 5 draft on Friday, which necessitated some difficult roster moves all around.
The #Rays have made 3 additions to the 40-man roster:— Neil Solondz (@neilsolondz) November 20, 2020
INF Taylor Walls
OF Josh Lowe
RHP Drew Strotman
Hunter Renfroe and Brian O'Grady have been DFA'ed.
You can read John Romano’s take on these choices here($).
Rays VP of Baseball Operations Peter Bendix, rocking that pandemic haircut, reflects on the Renfroe trade and DFA:
Hunter Renfroe DFA'd: #RaysUp VP of Baseball Ops Peter Bendix says outfield was too crowded. But he doesn't see the Tommy Pham trade as a failure.— Grace Remington (@GraceRemiWTSP) November 21, 2020
"Other guys have stepped up... and added to our OF logjam in a way I don't think we would've anticipated." pic.twitter.com/6e0ISDbroc
O’Grady didn’t seem to have a role on the Rays so there’s no surprise that they cut ties with him. Renfroe, however, was unexpected. To be sure his 2020 was forgettable— he definitely showed some power but those home runs were too infrequent, the strike outs very frequent, and the defense less than advertised. But given that they gave up a lot to get him (along with Xavier Edwards) I might have expected them to give him another year to work things out. However one thing is clear: DFA’ing Renfroe is not a salary dump. He had a chance to earn that roster spot and his 2020 was poor enough that he failed to do that. So...No, Jim Bowden, you’ve got it wrong:
The #Rays DFA of Hunter Renfroe & #Orioles DFA Renato Nunez were done strictly because of financial reasons as neither team wanted to pay "Arbitration" salaries for them. Renfroe provides power/ defense but can't get on-base. Nunez provides power. Power alone doesn't pay anymore— Jim Bowden (@JimBowdenGM) November 21, 2020
As for the 40-man additions, Strotman may be the most surprising; he missed a year to TJS and was just in Hi-A in 2019.
You can never go wrong listening to Neil Solondz’s podcast. In this most recent interview he talks to Matt Silverman about what baseball in a bubble felt like, and about plans to include fans in the 2021 season. At the moment they are hoping for some sort of limited fan admission when the season opens, with capacity increasing as (knock on wood) vaccinations make it safer to gather.
The Athletic ($) is making us all cringe — that one bad trade your team can never let down. Who trades for a manager?
The Rays continue to participate in the Australian League, sending eight players to the Perth Heat:
That new rule requiring a pitcher to throw to three batters? Jayson Stark dissects its impact. It certainly didn’t shorten games. ($)
By the way have we mentioned that our friend and colleague Jim Turvey has a blog? He writes about baseball history among other things. Give it a follow!