Rays add six players to 40-man roster
In advance of tonight's reserve list deadline, the Tampa Bay Rays have completed a series of transactions. The Rays claimed right-handed pitcher Chase Whitley off waivers from the New York Yankees and selected right-handed pitchers Jacob Faria, Taylor Guerrieri and German Marquez, infielder/outfielder Taylor Motter and left-handed pitcher Blake Snell. To make room on the 40-man roster, the club outrighted left-handed pitcher Grayson Garvin and right-handed pitcher Burch Smith to Triple-A Durham and designated catcher J.P. Arencibia, outfielder Daniel Nava and right-handed pitchers Brandon Gomes and Kirby Yates for assignment.
Whitley, 26, made four starts for the Yankees in 2015 before undergoing Tommy John surgery in May. His last start before the procedure was May 14 at Tropicana Field. In 28 career appearances (16 starts) in the majors, he is 5-5 with a 5.02 ERA. He was selected by the Yankees in the 15th round of the 2010 June Draft, and compiled a 24-16 record and 2.57 ERA over six minor league seasons.
Faria (fuh-REE-uh), 22, split the 2015 season between Class-A Charlotte and Double-A Montgomery, going a combined 17-4 with a 1.92 ERA (149.2-IP, 32-ER) in 25 games (23 starts). He was named Charlotte's Most Valuable Player by the Rays Baseball Operations department and earned spots on both the Florida State League's midseason and postseason All-Star teams despite his mid-June promotion. Faria led all of minor league baseball in wins, and he ranked among minor league leaders in ERA (second), opponents' average (.194, fourth), strikeouts (159, fifth) and WHIP (1.04, sixth). He was selected by the Rays in the 10th round of the 2011 June Draft and is 30-21 with a 2.80 ERA over five minor league seasons.
Guerrieri (guh-RARE-ee), 22, split the 2015 season with Charlotte and Montgomery, his first full season since Tommy John surgery in July 2013, and went 5-3 with a 1.85 ERA (78-IP, 16-ER) in 20 games (18 starts). He was selected by the Rays in the first round (24th overall) of the 2011 June Draft, and is 12-7 with a 1.61 ERA over four minor league seasons. He entered the 2015 season ranked by MLB.com as the Rays No. 4 prospect and top pitching prospect. Prior to his Tommy John surgery, he was ranked among the Top 100 prospects in baseball by Baseball America entering the 2012 and 2013 seasons.
Marquez, 20, spent the 2015 season with Charlotte, going 7-13 with a 3.56 ERA (139-IP, 55-ER) and leading the Stone Crabs in starts (23), innings pitched and strikeouts (104). In four minor league seasons, he is 14-27 with a 3.88 ERA. He was signed by the Rays as a free agent in 2011 out of Venezuela.
Motter, 26, hit .292 (142-for-486) with 14 home runs, 72 RBI, 26 stolen bases and a .366 on-base percentage in 127 games with Durham in 2015. He was named Durham's Most Valuable Player by the Rays Baseball Operations department and earned spots on both the International League's midseason and postseason All-Star teams. He ranked among IL leaders in doubles (43, first), extra-base hits (58, first), total bases (229, third), hits (fourth), runs scored (74, fourth) and OBP (fourth). He started at least five games at third base, second base and shortstop and all three outfield positions, and batted in all nine positions in the batting order. His .292 batting average ranked fourth among Rays minor leaguers, while his 72 RBI ranked tied for second and his 26 stolen bases ranked tied for third. He has compiled a career .281 batting average with 43 home runs and 217 RBI across five minor league seasons.
Snell, 22, set a Rays minor league record (min. 130 IP) with a 1.41 ERA (134-IP, 21-ER) in 2015 between Charlotte, Montgomery and Durham. It was the lowest in the minors (min. 115 IP) since Tigers righthander Justin Verlander posted a 1.29 ERA in 2005. Snell was named USA Today Minor League Player of the Year and Baseball America's Minor League Player of the Year. In addition, for the second straight season he was named the organization's Minor League Pitcher of the Year by the Rays Baseball Operations department, joining Jeremy Hellickson (2009-10) as the only Rays to do it twice. He had a 46-inning scoreless streak to start the season and ranked among full-season minor league leaders in opponents' average (.182, first), wins (15, tied for fourth), strikeouts (163, fifth) and WHIP (1.02, fifth). Snell earned Southern League midseason and postseason All-Star selections and played in the All-Star Futures Game. He was selected by the Rays in the first round (52nd overall) of the 2011 June Draft, and is 33-24 with a 3.20 ERA over five minor league seasons.
Arencibia, 29, spent most of the 2015 season with Durham before being selected to the major league roster by the Rays on August 26. He hit .310 (22-for-71) with six home runs and 17 RBI in 24 games (19 starts) with Tampa Bay, and combined for a total of 28 HR in 455 at-bats between the majors and minors.
Gomes, 31, made a career-high 63 appearances for the Rays in 2015, his fifth straight season split between Durham and Tampa Bay. He went 2-6 with a 4.27 ERA (59-IP, 28-ER) in 2015, and holds a career 4.20 ERA in the majors.
Nava, 32, was claimed off waivers from the Boston Red Sox on August 5 and hit .233 (17-for-73) in 31 games (18 starts) with the Rays. He is a career .265 hitter over five major league seasons.
Yates, 28, split the 2015 season between Durham and the Rays, posting a 7.97 ERA (20.1-IP, 18-ER) in 20 appearances spanning four stints with the Rays. He yielded 10 home runs, tied for fourth most among AL relief pitchers.
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