Rays agree to terms with four players for 2021

January 16th, 2021

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Rays have agreed to terms for the 2021 season with four of their six arbitration-eligible players: right-handed pitchers Yonny Chirinos and Tyler Glasnow, outfielder Manuel Margot and infielder Joey Wendle. The Rays will proceed to arbitration with first baseman Ji-Man Choi and left-handed pitcher Ryan Yarbrough. The Rays have also invited four of their minor league players to major league spring training: left-handed pitchers Dietrich Enns and Kenny Rosenberg and right-handed pitchers Phoenix Sanders and Tyler Zombro.

Chirinos, 27, was limited to three starts last season due to two stints on the injured list. He made his third Opening Day roster and started the club’s fifth game of the season but was sidelined from August 3-15 (right triceps inflammation) and August 19 through season’s end (torn right UCL). He underwent Tommy John surgery on August 24, performed by Dr. Koco Eaton in St. Petersburg. He is 14-10 with a 3.65 ERA (234.1-IP, 95-ER) over three major league seasons, all with the Rays.

Glasnow, 27, led the Rays last season with 57.1 innings pitched and 91 strikeouts. His 91 strikeouts ranked fourth in the American League behind Cleveland’s Shane Bieber (122), Chicago’s Lucas Giolito (97) and New York’s Gerrit Cole (94). His average fastball velocity was 97.0 mph, second in the AL (min. 50 IP). The Rays won his first three starts of the postseason, including Game 5 of the Division Series against the New York Yankees. From August 13 through October 9, the Rays went 11-0 in his starts—the longest winning streak for a starting pitcher in franchise history. He was acquired in July 2018 from the Pittsburgh Pirates and is 12-7 with a 3.32 ERA (173.2-IP, 64-ER) and 231 strikeouts in 34 starts since the trade.

Margot, 26, appeared in 47 games and made 37 starts (18-CF, 10-RF, 9-LF) in his first season with the Rays. After a slow start, he hit .321/.374/.411 (36-for-112) in 36 games (28 starts) from August 10 through the end of the regular season. He tied for fourth in the majors and tied for second in the AL with 12 stolen bases behind Kansas City’s Adalberto Mondesi (24). He hit five home runs in 19 games in the postseason, compared to one home run in the regular season. In Game 6 of the League Championship Series against the Houston Astros, he became the first player in major league history to have a multi-homer game in the postseason after hitting one home run (or fewer) during the regular season. Over five major league seasons with the San Diego Padres (2016-19) and Rays (2020), he is batting .250 (386-for-1,544) with 34 home runs and 141 RBI.

Wendle, 30, appeared in 50 games and made 45 starts (18-2B, 18-3B, 9-SS) last season and hit .286 (48-for-168), highest on the team (min. 150 AB). He hit four home runs in 50 games, exceeding his total (three) from 75 games in 2019. On September 23 at the New York Mets, he gave the Rays a lead with a 2nd-inning homer off Michael Wacha, and the Rays won, 8-5, to clinch the AL East title. In Game 5 of the Division Series against the New York Yankees, he caught Gio Urshela’s 109.6 liner for the final out as the Rays advanced to the League Championship Series for the second time in franchise history. He is a career .277 (278-for-1,002) hitter over five major league seasons and a .279 (249-for-893) hitter since joining the Rays.

Enns, 29, signed a minor league contract with the Rays on August 18 and was added to the 60-man player pool. He was part of the Rays taxi squad for the August 28–September 2 and September 17-23 road trips but did not appear on the club’s active roster. He was signed after going 2-0 with a 1.00 ERA (18-IP, 2-ER) and 33 strikeouts in four appearances (three starts) for the Tully Monsters in independent ball. He spent the 2019 season with Triple-A El Paso in the Padres organization.

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Rosenberg, 25, spent most of the 2019 season with Double-A Montgomery, except for a three-day stint with Triple-A Durham from August 22-24. He went 11-4 with a 3.29 ERA (134-IP, 49-ER) in 25 appearances (16 starts) for Montgomery and was named to the Southern League midseason All-Star Team. He tied for the league lead in wins, ranked fourth in ERA and ninth with 108 strikeouts. Between the two levels, his 114 strikeouts ranked third among Rays minor leaguers. He was selected in the eighth round of the 2016 June Draft out of California State University at Northridge.

Sanders, 25, was a non-roster invite to Rays spring training in 2020 but was not part of the 60-man player pool for the regular season. He split the 2019 season between Montgomery and Durham, with two stints at each level. He combined to go 4-3 with a 1.92 ERA (61-IP, 13-ER) in 45 appearances (one start). He was named to the Southern League midseason All-Star Team and ranked second in the Southern League with 15 saves. He was selected in the 10th round of the 2017 June Draft out of the University of South Florida after going 6-2 with a 2.78 ERA (97-IP, 30-ER) in 16 starts as a senior.

Zombro, 26, was a non-roster invite to Rays spring training in 2020 but was not part of the 60-man player pool for the regular season. He was named the organization’s Minor League Reliever of the Year by the Rays Baseball Operations department in 2019. He went 2-1 with a 2.29 ERA (63-IP, 16-ER) in 41 appearances (three starts) between Montgomery and Durham. He was signed as a non-drafted free agent out of George Mason University on July 3, 2017.