Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

Rays News

Rays are facing non-tender deadline decisions

@juanctoribio
December 1, 2019

ST. PETERSBURG -- As they hope to get more clarity on what their roster could potentially look like heading into next season, the Rays have been active with some of their arbitration-eligible players. Matt Duffy and Jesús Aguilar, two of the club's arb-eligible players heading into the offseason, were designated

ST. PETERSBURG -- As they hope to get more clarity on what their roster could potentially look like heading into next season, the Rays have been active with some of their arbitration-eligible players.

Matt Duffy and Jesús Aguilar, two of the club's arb-eligible players heading into the offseason, were designated for assignment in order to clear room on the 40-man roster. Mike Zunino, who appeared to be another potential non-tender candidate, received a one-year, $4.5 million deal to remain with Tampa Bay on Nov. 25.

Now, as Monday's deadline approaches, the Rays will have to make a decision on six more arbitration-eligible players.

Tommy Pham

After a stellar first full season with the Rays, Pham is projected to get a significant raise in his second year of arbitration. But despite that, it should be an easy decision for the Rays to tender Pham a contract on Monday. Pham hit 21 home runs in 2019 and stole 25 bases, becoming the first 20-20 player since B.J. Upton. Over the last two seasons, the Rays are 112-72 when Pham is in the lineup.

Tyler Glasnow

Glasnow will enter his first year of arbitration and MLB Trade Rumors estimates that the right-hander will make $1.9 million through the process. Despite the projected bump, Glasnow is still an affordable pitcher with tremendous upside, and he’ll get tendered on Monday.

Chaz Roe

Of the group, the decision with Roe will be the most interesting. He could be non-tendered at the deadline after having an up-and-down 2019 season, and there’s also the new three-batter minimum rule in 2020, which could could remove specialists. In ‘19, Roe faced a right-handed hitter 174 times, compared to just 55 plate appearances against left-handers. Roe, however, did give the Rays a positive veteran presence in the bullpen, making this decision difficult and interesting.

Guillermo Heredia

Heredia is another possible non-tender option, but the ability to play center field behind Kevin Kiermaier and his overall energy in the clubhouse should keep Heredia around. He was excellent defensively in his first season with the Rays, but he’ll have to improve on a .668 OPS.

Oliver Drake

Drake was one of the pleasant surprises in 2019 and he established himself as one of the key options in the Rays' bullpen. Drake posted a 3.87 FIP last season and he was excellent against left-handed hitters, limiting them to a .360 OPS. The veteran right-hander will have to get better against right-handed hitters, who hit eight home runs and finished with an .865 OPS in 97 at-bats. Either way, Drake should get tendered a contract on Monday.

Daniel Robertson

After being one of the key players on the roster in 2018, Robertson battled a knee injury and regressed this past season, finding himself spending most of the season in Triple-A Durham.

Robertson was able to produce as a September callup, showing signs that he could return to form during the ‘20 season. Robertson still has a capable bat, and is a talented and versatile defender, which likely means that the Rays will bank on him and hope he can bounce back in a big way.

Juan Toribio covers the Rays for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @juanctoribio.