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Rays announce 2019 promotional schedule

Highlights include Blake Snell Cy Zilla bobblehead and Ryne Stanek bottle opener

On Tuesday, the Tampa Bay Rays released the promotional schedule for the 2019 season, which features 23 unique collectibles. All fans (while supplies last) will receive a Rays Schedule Magnet on Opening Day, Thursday, March 28 vs. the Houston Astros. The Rays 2019 season is presented by Tampa General Hospital.

Saturday promotional items this year are available to all fans, and include a Blake Snell Cy Zilla Bobblehead (March 30 vs. Astros) presented by DEX Imaging; Ryne Stanek Bottle Opener (April 20 vs. Red Sox) presented by Republic Bank; Tropical Shirt (May 11 vs. Yankees) presented by TradeWinds Island Resorts; Tommy Pham Bobblehead (June 1 vs. Twins) presented by DEX Imaging; Short Sleeve Hoodie (June 15 vs. Angels) presented by Tampa Bay Times; Umbrella (June 29 vs. Rangers) presented by Florida Department of Transportation; Blake Snell Replica Jersey (July 20 vs. White Sox) presented by Suncoast Credit Union; DJ Kitty Mini Speaker (August 3 vs. Marlins); Willy Adames Bobblehead (August 17 vs. Tigers); Tote Bag (August 31 vs. Indians) presented by MLB Network; and Pajama Pants (September 7 vs. Blue Jays). Promotional items are available while supplies last. 

On Tuesday, the Tampa Bay Rays released the promotional schedule for the 2019 season, which features 23 unique collectibles. All fans (while supplies last) will receive a Rays Schedule Magnet on Opening Day, Thursday, March 28 vs. the Houston Astros. The Rays 2019 season is presented by Tampa General Hospital.

Saturday promotional items this year are available to all fans, and include a Blake Snell Cy Zilla Bobblehead (March 30 vs. Astros) presented by DEX Imaging; Ryne Stanek Bottle Opener (April 20 vs. Red Sox) presented by Republic Bank; Tropical Shirt (May 11 vs. Yankees) presented by TradeWinds Island Resorts; Tommy Pham Bobblehead (June 1 vs. Twins) presented by DEX Imaging; Short Sleeve Hoodie (June 15 vs. Angels) presented by Tampa Bay Times; Umbrella (June 29 vs. Rangers) presented by Florida Department of Transportation; Blake Snell Replica Jersey (July 20 vs. White Sox) presented by Suncoast Credit Union; DJ Kitty Mini Speaker (August 3 vs. Marlins); Willy Adames Bobblehead (August 17 vs. Tigers); Tote Bag (August 31 vs. Indians) presented by MLB Network; and Pajama Pants (September 7 vs. Blue Jays). Promotional items are available while supplies last. 

Sundays will once again be Family Fun Days, courtesy of Tampa General Hospital. Every Sunday home game will feature free parking for cars with four or more passengers and a variety of postgame activities for kids, including Kids Run the Bases and a DJ Kitty Dance Party featuring mascots and entertainers. For the sixth consecutive season, concourse activities will be complimentary for kids 14 years and under on Sundays. Activities include Power Alley Batting Cage, Speed Pitch, Virtual Reality Home Run Derby, Raymond's Treehouse, Topps Make Your Own Baseball Card and the Grand Slam Alley, courtesy of GameTime. Extra entertainers will also perform on Sundays, including face painters, stilt walkers, jugglers and balloon artists. In addition, every Sunday home game, two Rays players will sign autographs for kids 14 years and under along the right field stands from 12:00-12:30 p.m.

Sunday promotional items are for fans 14 years and under, and include a Kevin Kiermaier Replica Jersey (March 31 vs. Astros) presented by Tampa General Hospital; Daniel Robertson Wristbands (April 21 vs. Red Sox) presented by Moffitt Cancer Center; Snapback Hat designed by St. Petersburg multimedia artist Chad Mize (May 12 vs. Yankees) presented by FOX Sports Sun; Arm Sleeve (June 2 vs. Twins) presented by FOX Sports Sun; Fanny Pack (June 16 vs. Angels) presented by tampabay.com; Jedi Joey Wendle Socks (June 30 vs. Rangers) presented by Crown Automotive Group; Playing Cards (July 21 vs. White Sox); Backpack (August 4 vs. Marlins); Raymond Bendable Keychain (August 18 vs. Tigers); Toy Truck (September 1 vs. Indians) presented by W.B. Mason; and Pillowcase Set (September 8 vs. Blue Jays).

Rays Flex Packs are currently available for purchase. Flex Packs include five (5) lower level tickets for $75 per pack and the opportunity to redeem vouchers for game tickets prior to single-game tickets going on sale to the public on February 8. For more information, visit raysbaseball.com/flex. 

Rays 2019 season tickets are currently on sale, and provide numerous benefits, including great savings, the best seat locations, concession and merchandise discounts and access to exclusive events. Through the Double Play Season Ticket opportunity, fans can select from their choice of a premium gift or experience, which include a complimentary catered suite to a 2019 Rays home game, an experience at the Seminole Hard Rock Tampa and an all-expense paid spring training experience. Fans can call 888-FAN-RAYS or visit raysbaseball.com/seasontickets for more information.

The complete promotional schedule can be found at raysbaseball.com/promotions.

Tampa Bay Rays

Rays single-game tickets go on sale this week

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.-The Tampa Bay Rays today announced single-game tickets for the Rays 2019 season, presented by Tampa General Hospital, will go on sale this week according to the following schedule:

Friday, February 8 at 10 a.m.-Single-game tickets go on sale to the general public exclusively through raysbaseball.com.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.-The Tampa Bay Rays today announced single-game tickets for the Rays 2019 season, presented by Tampa General Hospital, will go on sale this week according to the following schedule:

Friday, February 8 at 10 a.m.-Single-game tickets go on sale to the general public exclusively through raysbaseball.com.

Saturday, February 9 at 10 a.m.-Single-game tickets go on sale through all outlets, including the BayCare Box Office at Tropicana Field, at single-game ticket sales tables on the field at Fan Fest, presented by Tampa Bay Times, by calling 888-FAN-RAYS or online at raysbaseball.com. The BayCare Box Office is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Credit cards, debit cards and Rays gift cards are accepted.

Fans who sign up for the Rays Insider, the Rays official email newsletter, will have the opportunity to participate in a special online presale on Thursday, February 7 at 10 a.m. The registration deadline for this presale is Wednesday, February 6 at noon. Fans can visit raysbaseball.com/newsletter today to register. Current subscribers need not re-apply. Rays Season Ticket Holders, Spring Training Season Ticket Holders and Corporate Partners will also receive information about special presale opportunities.

In addition, Rays ticket specials will be offered throughout the season and can be found at raysbaseball.com/specials. These specials include:

Family Packs presented by Coca-Cola-For select Sunday home games, fans can purchase Family Packs, which include three (3) or more Outfield tickets and a 20 oz. Coke product with each ticket purchased. Family Pack tickets start at $17 each.

Salute to Service presented by Suncoast Credit Union-Military, Teachers and First Responders can receive two (2) complimentary tickets to select Monday home games, additional bonus dates and special ticket offers throughout the season. Some exclusions apply. Military, Teachers and First Responders are encouraged to visit raysbaseball.com/specials to sign up. Affiliation will once again be verified by ID.me, a third-party MLB approved verification service. Tickets will be made available one week prior to each scheduled game date.

$2 Kids Tickets-For select home games, tickets for kids 14 years and under are $2 with the purchase of a full-price adult ticket.

Senior Special-For select weekday day games, Press Level tickets for fans 60 years and older are only $15. Offer includes games on Memorial Day (May 27 vs. Toronto), Independence Day (July 4 vs. New York-AL) and Labor Day (September 2 vs. Baltimore).

$7.11 Tickets presented by 7-Eleven-For all Friday home games, fans may purchase tickets for only $7.11. To take advantage of this special price, fans should visit a participating local 7-Eleven store and pick up the Rays Friday night discount coupon. Coupons will be in 7-Eleven stores starting March 11, 2019.

Student Ticket Offers-Students with a valid .edu email address can register to receive ticket discounts and special offers. Tickets start at $5. Interested students should visit raysbaseball.com/specials in order to register and participate. Tickets will be made available one week prior to each eligible game date.

Tampa Bay Rays

Rays announce 2019 Fan Fest details

The 2019 Tampa Bay Rays Fan Fest, presented by Tampa Bay Times, is set for Saturday, February 9 from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. at Tropicana Field. Rays Season Ticket Holders are granted early entry beginning at 10 a.m. Fan Fest is free; however, all attendees 18 years and older must individually obtain an admission ticket at raysbaseball.com/fanfest to attend. Fans can choose to print their ticket at home or scan tickets from their smartphone. Parking for the event is free. Over 70 current and former major league players and coaches are expected to attend, and will appear at various stations throughout the day along with mascots Raymond and DJ Kitty. 

A limited number of autograph passes are still available for $25 each, exclusively online at raysbaseball.com/fanfest, for the following players: Matt Duffy, Joey Wendle, Ryan Yarbrough and Mike Zunino. There is a purchase limit of four (4) autograph passes per player. In addition, a limited number of passes for the Blake Snell VIP gaming experience are still available for $50, and include a seat in the gallery to watch the video game contest and an autograph from Snell. All proceeds from the experiences benefit the Rays Baseball Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization and the official charity of the Rays, which focuses on youth and educational programming that make a measurable difference in the Tampa Bay region.

The 2019 Tampa Bay Rays Fan Fest, presented by Tampa Bay Times, is set for Saturday, February 9 from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. at Tropicana Field. Rays Season Ticket Holders are granted early entry beginning at 10 a.m. Fan Fest is free; however, all attendees 18 years and older must individually obtain an admission ticket at raysbaseball.com/fanfest to attend. Fans can choose to print their ticket at home or scan tickets from their smartphone. Parking for the event is free. Over 70 current and former major league players and coaches are expected to attend, and will appear at various stations throughout the day along with mascots Raymond and DJ Kitty. 

A limited number of autograph passes are still available for $25 each, exclusively online at raysbaseball.com/fanfest, for the following players: Matt Duffy, Joey Wendle, Ryan Yarbrough and Mike Zunino. There is a purchase limit of four (4) autograph passes per player. In addition, a limited number of passes for the Blake Snell VIP gaming experience are still available for $50, and include a seat in the gallery to watch the video game contest and an autograph from Snell. All proceeds from the experiences benefit the Rays Baseball Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization and the official charity of the Rays, which focuses on youth and educational programming that make a measurable difference in the Tampa Bay region.

Among the free activities, fans are invited to take a tour of the Rays clubhouse facilities, participate in goat yoga and DIY activities and interact with Rays and Tampa Bay Rowdies players. More than 30 major league alumni will be signing autographs for free throughout the day. Also, fans have the opportunity to compete against Rays players at numerous tailgate games, including 22-player foosball, billiards, pop-a-shot, air hockey, giant Jenga, ping pong and more.

Fan Fest will feature a number of exciting activities for kids, including Reading with the Rays, presented by Suncoast Credit Union; speed pitch, batting cages and home run derby in the Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital Kids Interactive Zone; and baseball clinics in the infield, courtesy of Sagicor Life Insurance Company. While at Fan Fest, kids ages 14 years and under can sign up for the Rays Rookies Kids Club, presented by Outback Steakhouse. For $10, members will receive one (1) ticket to every Sunday home game, a Rays snapback hat and one (1) ticket to a Rowdies 2019 home match.

To promote Reading with the Rays, the club's summer reading program presented by Suncoast Credit Union and supported by Tampa Bay Times Newspaper in Education, Willy Adames and Yarbrough will read select stories on the Tampa General Hospital Main Stage. Adames will read in English and Spanish and Yarbrough will read in English.

The Tampa General Hospital Main Stage will also host entertainment throughout the day, including a Game Show segment with Tyler Glasnow and Ryne Stanek, Raymond magic show and Fashion Show with Levy's retail division Rank + Rally, which will unveil new 2019 regular season and spring training merchandise. In addition, the stage will also feature panels with Rays coaches, broadcasters and team executives, including a discussion on "the opener" with Manager Kevin Cash, Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations/General Manager Erik Neander and MLB Network studio host Brian Kenny.

The Rays will use their social media accounts to give fans opportunities for team and player interaction and exclusive prizes through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat contests during Fan Fest. The team's official Twitter account, @RaysBaseball, will serve as a communication hub where fans can get up-to-date information on events happening throughout the day and answers to questions about Fan Fest. Fans can also visit the Social Media Zone, presented by tampabay.com, to witness a live podcast recording of "Sports Day Tampa Bay," featuring Rick Stroud and Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, and for photo opportunities with a larger-than-life Snell bobblehead and oversized player emojis. In addition, fans will have the opportunity to play a selection of video games, including R.B.I. Baseball, take pictures in a photo booth and charge their cell phone at the phone-charging station at the Social Media Zone.

The Rays Baseball Foundation Clubhouse Corner and Charity Yard Sale return for the ninth consecutive year. In Clubhouse Corner, fans can find deals on authentic, game-used merchandise, including jerseys, helmets, bats and autographed memorabilia. The Charity Yard Sale will feature unique Rays items from the past and present for $5 each. All proceeds from the Charity Yard Sale and Clubhouse Corner benefit the Rays Baseball Foundation.

Representatives from the Rays ticket sales department will be available to assist fans throughout the day in the purchase of Season Tickets, group tickets, spring training tickets, party areas, suite rentals, business packages and special ticket offers. Season Ticket Holders will also be able to access the Republic Bank Draft Room-a club area which will feature a photo station to have their pictures taken with Rays players, complimentary refreshments and hors d'oeuvres, alumni player appearances and more. Season Ticket Holders will also receive a 15 percent discount at select concession and merchandise stands.

Fans can call 888-FAN-RAYS or visit raysbaseball.com/FanFest for more information about 2019 Rays Fan Fest.

Tampa Bay Rays

Rays announce 16 internal invites to Spring Training

The Tampa Bay Rays have announced the following Minor League players have received invites to Major League Spring Training: infielder Mike Brosseau, infielder Jake Cronenworth, right-handed pitcher Oliver Drake, infielder Lucius Fox, right-handed pitcher Mike Franco, right-handed pitcher Ian Gardeck, catcher Mac James, right-handed pitcher Andrew Kittredge, first baseman Nate Lowe, left-handed pitcher Hoby Milner, left-handed pitcher Dalton Moats, left-handed pitcher Colin Poche, catcher David Rodríguez, infielder/outfielder Nick Solak, right-handed pitcher Curtis Taylor and infielder/outfielder Kean Wong.

These invites bring the Major League Spring Training roster to 64 players: 34 pitchers, six catchers, 16 infielders and eight outfielders. 

The Tampa Bay Rays have announced the following Minor League players have received invites to Major League Spring Training: infielder Mike Brosseau, infielder Jake Cronenworth, right-handed pitcher Oliver Drake, infielder Lucius Fox, right-handed pitcher Mike Franco, right-handed pitcher Ian Gardeck, catcher Mac James, right-handed pitcher Andrew Kittredge, first baseman Nate Lowe, left-handed pitcher Hoby Milner, left-handed pitcher Dalton Moats, left-handed pitcher Colin Poche, catcher David Rodríguez, infielder/outfielder Nick Solak, right-handed pitcher Curtis Taylor and infielder/outfielder Kean Wong.

These invites bring the Major League Spring Training roster to 64 players: 34 pitchers, six catchers, 16 infielders and eight outfielders. 

Brosseau, 24, spent last season with Double-A Montgomery, batting .262/.327/.449 (97-for-370) and recording career highs with 13 home runs, 61 RBI and 11 stolen bases. He finished the season with a .968 fielding pct. while spending time at third base (64 games, 63 starts), second base (16 games, all starts), first base (10 games, nine starts) and shortstop (one game). He was signed by the Rays as a non-drafted free agent following the 2016 June Draft out of Oakland University in Michigan and is a .295/.372/.450 (252-for-854) hitter with 20 home runs and 124 RBI over three minor league seasons.

Cronenworth, 25, spent most of last season with Montgomery, aside from a short stint with Triple-A Durham in April and a promotion for Durham's run to the Governors' Cup. Between the two levels, he hit .253/.321/.345 (112-for-443) with four home runs, 52 RBI and a career-high 22 stolen bases while making starts at shortstop (60), third base (32), second base (18) and first base (one). He tied for fourth in the Southern League with 75 runs scored. He was selected by the Rays in the seventh round of the 2015 June Draft out of the University of Michigan and is a career .272/.363/.367 (422-for-1,550) hitter with 12 home runs and 174 RBI over four minor league seasons.

Drake, 32, was acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays on January 4 in exchange for cash considerations and was outrighted to the minor leagues following the signing of Avisaíl García. Last season, he pitched in the majors for the Milwaukee Brewers, Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Angels, Blue Jays and the Minnesota Twins, becoming the first player in major league history to pitch for five different teams in one season. He has spent parts of four seasons in the majors, going 5-6 with a 4.59 ERA (137.1-IP, 70-ER) in 135 appearances, all in relief.

Fox, 21, split last season between Class-A Charlotte and Montgomery, batting .268/.351/.341 (122-for-455) with three home runs, 39 RBI and 29 stolen bases in 116 games. He was named to the Florida State League midseason All-Star Team and finished the season fifth in the league with a .371 on-base pct. and eighth with a .282 avg. He also played 21 games for the Peoria Javelinas in the Arizona Fall League, batting .326 (28-for-86) with one home run, 11 RBI and seven stolen bases. He was ranked by Baseball America as the No. 23 prospect in the Rays system following the season, and the publication also tabbed him as the Best Defensive Infielder in the organization. He was originally signed by the San Francisco Giants as an international free agent in July 2015 and was acquired by the Rays in the Matt Moore trade on August 1, 2016.

Franco, 27, split the season between Montgomery and Durham, going 4-3 with a 3.16 ERA (62.2-IP, 22-ER) in 41 apps (one start). He was named Southern League Pitcher of the Week for April 30-May 6 and earned a promotion to Triple-A shortly thereafter, spending the rest of the season with Durham. He was placed on the disabled list near the end of the regular season and missed the postseason due to right shoulder impingement. He was selected in the seventh round of the 2014 June Draft out of Florida International University and is 19-14 with a 2.48 ERA (308.2-IP, 85-ER) over five minor league seasons.

Gardeck, 28, was selected from the Giants in the Triple-A phase of the 2018 Rule 5 Draft. He split last season between the AZL Giants, Class-A San Jose and Double-A Richmond, going 1-1 with a 2.63 ERA (13.2-IP, 4-ER) in 14 apps, his first professional action since 2015. He underwent Tommy John surgery and hip labrum surgery in March 2016 and a second Tommy John surgery in April 2017. He was selected by the Giants in the 16th round of the 2012 June Draft out of the University of Alabama and is 13-13 with a 4.07 ERA (223.1-IP, 101-ER) over five minor league seasons.

James, 25, split last season between Montgomery and Durham, batting .192/.290/.210 (32-for-167) with 14 RBI in 54 games between the two levels. He spent time at catcher (30 games, 29 starts), first base (13 games, 12 starts) and third base (eight games, three starts). He was selected in the sixth round of the 2014 June Draft out of the University of Oklahoma and is a career .238/.306/.289 (252-for-1,057) hitter with five home runs and 89 RBI in five minor league seasons. 

Kittredge, 28, was outrighted off the 40-man roster in November. He made 33 apps (three starts) over five stints with the Rays, including his first career Opening Day roster, and held left-handed hitters to a .232/.348/.393 (13-for-56) line. He recorded his first career win on April 25 at Baltimore and made nine straight scoreless outings from September 5-19. He also made 21 apps (one start) with Durham, where he went 6-0 with a 2.74 ERA (46-IP, 14-ER) and 58 strikeouts. He was acquired by the Rays in a November 2016 trade with the Seattle Mariners and has spent parts of the last two seasons in the majors.

Lowe, 23, was named the Minor League Player of the Year by the Rays Baseball Operations department last season, leading Rays minor leaguers with 27 home runs and 102 RBI and ranking third with a .330 avg. His 102 RBI were the most by a Rays minor leaguer since Stephen Vogt (105) in 2011. He split the season between Charlotte, Montgomery and Durham, batting .330/.416/.568 (159-for-482) in 130 games. He was named to the Florida State League midseason All-Star Game and represented the Rays in the All-Star Futures Game at Nationals Park. He was ranked by Baseball America as the No. 9 prospect in the Rays system following the season. He was selected in the 13th round of the 2016 June Draft out of Mississippi State University and has hit .303/.393/.476 (343-for-1,131) with 38 home runs and 201 RBI in three minor league seasons.

Milner, 28, was outrighted off the 40-man roster in November. He split last season between Triple-A and the majors in the Philadelphia Phillies and Rays organizations. He made four apps over two stints with the Rays (July 15-20 and September 20 through the end of the season) and totaled four stints in the majors. He was designated for assignment by the Phillies on July 10 and acquired by the Rays in exchange for cash considerations on July 14. In 40 apps (one start) between Durham and Lehigh Valley at the Triple-A level, he went 1-0 with a 2.88 ERA (40.2-IP, 13-ER) and 49 strikeouts. He was selected by the Phillies in the seventh round of the 2012 June Draft.

Moats, 23, spent last season with Montgomery, going 2-3 with a 5.34 ERA (62.1-IP, 37-ER) in 41 apps (10 starts). He pitched to a 0.84 ERA (10.2-IP, 1-ER) in seven outings for the Peoria Javelinas in the Arizona Fall League and was named to the AFL Rising Stars Game. He was selected in the 15th round of the 2016 June Draft out of Delta State University and is 11-6 with a 3.36 ERA (155.1-IP, 58-ER) over three minor league seasons.

Poche, 25, was named the Minor League Reliever of the Year by the Rays Baseball Operations department last season after being acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks as a player to be named to complete the Steven Souza Jr. trade. He pitched for Double-A Jackson, Montgomery and Durham, going 6-0 with a 0.82 ERA (66-IP, 6-ER) and 110 strikeouts, good for a 15.0 SO/9 IP ratio. No minor league pitcher with as many innings recorded a better SO/9 IP ratio than Poche, who struck out 45.6 pct. of his batters faced between the two organizations. He was named to Baseball America's Minor League All-Star Team and was ranked by the publication as the No. 20 prospect in the Rays system following the season. He was selected by the D-backs in the 14th round of the 2016 June Draft and is 10-3 with a 1.47 ERA (147.1-IP, 24-ER) over three minor league seasons.

Rodríguez, 22, split last season between Charlotte and Montgomery, batting .256/.316/.376 (91-for-356) with six home runs and 64 RBI between the two levels. He was named to the Florida State League midseason All-Star Team and earned a May 22 promotion to the Double-A level. He played for the Bravos de Margarita in the Venezuelan Winter League, batting .322 (38-for-118) with three home runs and 19 RBI in 35 games. He was signed as an international free agent in August 2012 and is a career .254/.326/.370 (411-for-1,618) hitter with 31 home runs and 229 RBI in six minor league seasons.

Solak, 24, spent last season, his first in the Rays organization, with Montgomery, batting .282/.384/.450 (135-for-478) with 19 home runs, 76 RBI and 21 stolen bases in 126 games. He was named Most Valuable Player for Montgomery by the Rays Baseball Operations department and was named to the Southern League midseason and postseason All-Star teams. He led the Southern League with 91 runs, 135 hits and a .384 on-base pct., ranked second with 76 RBI, third with 68 walks and 215 total bases and fourth with a .282 avg. He also tied for fourth among Rays minor leaguers in both home runs and RBI and was one home run shy of becoming the first Rays minor leaguer with a 20-homer, 20-steal season since Justin Ruggiano in 2007. He was ranked by Baseball America as the No. 13 prospect in the Rays system following the season. He was selected by the New York Yankees in the second round of the 2016 June Draft out of the University of Louisville and was acquired by the Rays in a three-team trade with the Diamondbacks for Steven Souza Jr.

Taylor, 23, split last season between Charlotte and Montgomery, going 6-4 with a 2.54 ERA (78-IP, 22-ER) in 38 apps (four starts). He recorded at least four outs in 29 of his 38 apps and went at least two innings in 21 apps. He was selected by the Diamondbacks in the fourth round of the 2016 June Draft out of the University of British Columbia and was acquired by the Rays in November 2017 in exchange for Brad Boxberger. In three minor league seasons, he is 10-8 with a 2.81 ERA (156.2-IP, 49-ER) and 188 strikeouts in 68 apps (17 starts).

Wong, 23, spent last season with Durham, batting .282/.345/.406 (127-for-451) with nine home runs and 50 RBI in 116 games. He was named Most Valuable Player for Durham by the Rays Baseball Operations department, ranking 10th in the International League in avg. and leading the team in hits and total bases (183). He was named to the IL midseason and postseason All-Star teams and was the IL's Top Star of the Triple-A All-Star Game. He was selected in the fourth round of the 2013 June Draft out of Waiakea High School in Hawaii and is a career .283/.335/.368 (655-for-2,312) hitter with 22 home runs and 236 RBI over six minor league seasons.

Tampa Bay Rays

Rays announce five additional invites to Spring Training

The Tampa Bay Rays have agreed to terms with the following players on Minor League contracts with an invitation to Major League spring training: infielder Emilio Bonifacio, right-handed pitcher Ricardo Pinto, right-handed pitcher Casey Sadler, right-handed pitcher Luis Santos and right-handed pitcher Cole Sulser.

Bonifacio, 33, is a career .256/.313/.333 (669-for-2,610) hitter with 13 home runs, 165 RBI and 166 stolen bases over parts of 11 seasons in the Majors with the Arizona Diamondbacks (2007-08), Washington Nationals (2008), Florida/Miami Marlins (2009-12), Toronto Blue Jays (2013), Kansas City Royals (2013), Chicago Cubs (2014), Atlanta Braves (2014, 2016-17) and Chicago White Sox (2015). He has started games at second base (201 starts), center field (170), third base (135), shortstop (100), left field (75), right field (31) and designated hitter (five). He spent the majority of the 2018 season with Long Island in the independent Atlantic League, but played five games for Triple-A Colorado Springs in the Milwaukee Brewers organization after signing in August. His best season came with the Marlins in 2011, when he hit .296 (167-for-565) and stole a career-high 40 bases in 152 games. From 2011-14, his 96 stolen bases ranked seventh in the National League, and he was successful on 81.4 pct. of his attempts over that span. This offseason, Bonifacio played for the Tigres del Licey in the Dominican Winter League, batting .241/.299/.471 (21-for-87) with two home runs and 11 RBI in 26 games. He was originally signed by the Diamondbacks as a free agent in December 2001.

The Tampa Bay Rays have agreed to terms with the following players on Minor League contracts with an invitation to Major League spring training: infielder Emilio Bonifacio, right-handed pitcher Ricardo Pinto, right-handed pitcher Casey Sadler, right-handed pitcher Luis Santos and right-handed pitcher Cole Sulser.

Bonifacio, 33, is a career .256/.313/.333 (669-for-2,610) hitter with 13 home runs, 165 RBI and 166 stolen bases over parts of 11 seasons in the Majors with the Arizona Diamondbacks (2007-08), Washington Nationals (2008), Florida/Miami Marlins (2009-12), Toronto Blue Jays (2013), Kansas City Royals (2013), Chicago Cubs (2014), Atlanta Braves (2014, 2016-17) and Chicago White Sox (2015). He has started games at second base (201 starts), center field (170), third base (135), shortstop (100), left field (75), right field (31) and designated hitter (five). He spent the majority of the 2018 season with Long Island in the independent Atlantic League, but played five games for Triple-A Colorado Springs in the Milwaukee Brewers organization after signing in August. His best season came with the Marlins in 2011, when he hit .296 (167-for-565) and stole a career-high 40 bases in 152 games. From 2011-14, his 96 stolen bases ranked seventh in the National League, and he was successful on 81.4 pct. of his attempts over that span. This offseason, Bonifacio played for the Tigres del Licey in the Dominican Winter League, batting .241/.299/.471 (21-for-87) with two home runs and 11 RBI in 26 games. He was originally signed by the Diamondbacks as a free agent in December 2001.

Pinto, 25, made his Major League debut with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2017, going 1-2 with a 7.89 ERA (29.2-IP, 26-ER) in 25 apps, his only career Major League action. He spent last season in the White Sox organization, going 3-2 with a 5.95 ERA (65.0-IP, 26-ER) in 30 apps (six starts) between Class-A Winston-Salem and Triple-A Charlotte. Following the season, Pinto pitched for the Tiburones de La Guaira in the Venezuelan Winter League, going 0-1 with a 3.98 ERA (20.1-IP, 9-ER) in five apps (four starts). He was originally signed by the Phillies as a free agent in December 2011 and is 41-28 with a 3.56 ERA (606.0-IP, 240-ER) over seven Minor League seasons.

Sadler, 28, has spent his entire career in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, going 1-1 with a 6.86 ERA (19.2-IP, 15-ER) in nine apps (one start) over parts of three seasons (2014-15, 2018) in the Majors. Aside from a two-day stint in the Majors last August, he pitched last season for Triple-A Indianapolis, going 6-5 with a 3.39 ERA (77.0-IP, 29-ER) in 27 apps (eight starts). Following the season, Sadler pitched for the Tigres del Licey in the Dominican Winter League, going 0-1 with a 3.18 ERA (11.1-IP, 4-ER) in three starts. He was selected by the Pirates in the 25th round of the 2010 June Draft out of Western Oklahoma State College and is 51-36 with a 3.44 ERA (718.2-IP, 275-ER) over eight Minor League seasons.

Santos, 27, has spent parts of the last two seasons in the Majors with the Blue Jays, going 1-2 with a 5.15 ERA (36.2-IP, 21-ER) in 25 apps. Last season, he made 15 apps (one start) over three stints with the Blue Jays, going 1-1 with a 7.20 ERA (20.0-IP, 16-ER) and 20 strikeouts. He spent the remainder of the season with Triple-A Buffalo, going 2-3 with a 2.74 ERA (42.2-IP, 13-ER) and 40 strikeouts in 20 apps (two starts). For a fifth consecutive offseason, Santos played for the Toros del Este in the Dominican Winter League, pitching to a 2.08 ERA (13-IP, 1-ER) in 15 apps. He was originally signed by the Pirates as a free agent in August 2011 and is 43-36 with a 4.09 ERA (640.2-IP, 255-ER) in 154 apps (100 starts) over eight Minor League seasons.

Sulser, 28, has spent his entire career in the Cleveland Indians organization, going 20-26 with a 4.02 ERA (378.1-IP, 169-ER) in 176 apps (37 starts) over five Minor League seasons. He split the 2018 season between Triple-A Columbus and Double-A Akron, going 8-4 with a 3.86 ERA (60.2-IP, 26-ER) and 14.1 strikeouts per nine innings in 47 apps between the two levels. He was selected by the Indians in the 25th round of the 2013 June Draft out of Dartmouth College.

Tampa Bay Rays

Rays to make Tropicana Field first cash-free sports venue in North America

The Tampa Bay Rays announced today that, in collaboration with hospitality partner Levy and analytics and emerging tech firm E15, Tropicana Field will become the first cash-free sports venue in North America.

Tropicana Field's concessions, team stores, box office, and all other points-of-sale will operate cash-free in 2019. The move follows extensive pilot testing engineered and led by E15 at Tropicana Field and venues nationwide to measure the effects of cash-free transactions. These tests found that transitioning to cashfree environments results in an average transaction time of up to half that of traditional environments that accept cash, resulting in faster moving lines and increased fan satisfaction.

The Tampa Bay Rays announced today that, in collaboration with hospitality partner Levy and analytics and emerging tech firm E15, Tropicana Field will become the first cash-free sports venue in North America.

Tropicana Field's concessions, team stores, box office, and all other points-of-sale will operate cash-free in 2019. The move follows extensive pilot testing engineered and led by E15 at Tropicana Field and venues nationwide to measure the effects of cash-free transactions. These tests found that transitioning to cashfree environments results in an average transaction time of up to half that of traditional environments that accept cash, resulting in faster moving lines and increased fan satisfaction.

Forms of payment accepted at concession stands and retail stores inside the ballpark will include major credit cards, Rays gift cards, NFC mobile payments such as Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, and Season Ticket Holder Rays Cards. For fans without electronic forms of payment, cash can be exchanged for gift cards in any amount at all retail locations and in $10 or $20 increments through roaming gift card vendors. Tropicana Field's parking operations will also be cash-free, as they were for the 2018 season.

"We have made significant investments each year to improve the ballpark experience for fans, including an overhaul of our approach to food and beverage since the beginning of our partnership with Levy," said Rays Vice President of Strategy & Development William Walsh. "This change will increase speed of service and reduce lines throughout the ballpark."

"Throughout our testing last season at Tropicana Field, we saw that fans quickly adapted to cash-free environments and loved the resulting benefits to the game-day experience," said Jaime Faulkner, CEO of E15. "By offering fans a variety of forms of electronic payment, coupled with the ability to exchange cash for gift cards, we can ensure that fans are having frictionless experiences and getting back to enjoy the
game."

Fan Fest on February 9 will be the first cash-free event at Tropicana Field in 2019. A free event, fans are invited to shop at the Rays Baseball Foundation's Yard Sale, as well as the Rays Republic Team Store and auxiliary shops during Fan Fest. Several concession stands will also be open and will accept digital payments.

Tampa Bay Rays

Rays Fan Fest experiences on sale this week

Free admission tickets to Fan Fest now available to claim online

The 2019 Tampa Bay Rays Fan Fest, presented by Tampa Bay Times, is set for Saturday, February 9 from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. at Tropicana Field. Rays Season Ticket Holders are granted early entry beginning at 10 a.m. Fan Fest is free; however, all attendees 18 years and older must individually obtain an admission ticket to attend at raysbaseball.com/fanfest. Fans can choose to print their ticket at home or scan tickets from their smartphone. Parking for the event is free.

Fan Fest will feature various interactive experiences, including autograph sessions with current players and an exclusive VIP gaming experience with Rays pitcher Blake Snell. Fans can purchase autograph passes for $25 each, exclusively online at raysbaseball.com/fanfest. There is a purchase limit of four (4) autograph passes per player. The following players will be signing autographs (subject to change): Willy Adames, Matt Duffy, Kevin Kiermaier, Joey Wendle, Ryan Yarbrough and Mike Zunino.

The 2019 Tampa Bay Rays Fan Fest, presented by Tampa Bay Times, is set for Saturday, February 9 from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. at Tropicana Field. Rays Season Ticket Holders are granted early entry beginning at 10 a.m. Fan Fest is free; however, all attendees 18 years and older must individually obtain an admission ticket to attend at raysbaseball.com/fanfest. Fans can choose to print their ticket at home or scan tickets from their smartphone. Parking for the event is free.

Fan Fest will feature various interactive experiences, including autograph sessions with current players and an exclusive VIP gaming experience with Rays pitcher Blake Snell. Fans can purchase autograph passes for $25 each, exclusively online at raysbaseball.com/fanfest. There is a purchase limit of four (4) autograph passes per player. The following players will be signing autographs (subject to change): Willy Adames, Matt Duffy, Kevin Kiermaier, Joey Wendle, Ryan Yarbrough and Mike Zunino.

In addition, fans can purchase one of two exclusive VIP gaming experiences with Snell at Fan Fest. For $500, fans will play a video game alongside Snell for one (1) hour, receive a personalized Rays jersey with their gamertag and four (4) lower level tickets to the game on Tuesday, April 2 against the Colorado Rockies. For $50, fans can reserve a seat in the gallery to watch the video game contest and receive an autograph from Snell.

All proceeds from the interactive experiences benefit the Rays Baseball Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, which focuses on youth and educational programming that make a measurable difference in the Tampa Bay region.

Autograph passes and the VIP gaming experience with Snell go on sale this week at raysbaseball.com/fanfest according to the following schedule:

Thursday, January 24 at 10 a.m. - presale for Rays Season Ticket Holders

Thursday, January 24 at 2 p.m. - presale for Rays Insider subscribers

Friday, January 25 at 10 a.m. - available to the general public

Complete details and a list of current and former players expected to attend Fan Fest will be announced at a later date.

Tampa Bay Rays

Rays sign Avisaíl García to one-year contract

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Rays have agreed to a one-year, $3.5 million contract with free agent outfielder Avisaíl García (ah-vee-sigh-EEL). He has a chance to earn an additional $2.5 million in incentives. To make room on the 40-man roster, right-handed pitcher Oliver Drake was designated for assignment.

García, 27, hit a career-high 19 home runs last season for the Chicago White Sox despite being limited to 93 games due to two stints on the disabled list with a strained right hamstring. He missed nearly two months for his first stint on the disabled list, April 24-June 21, then was reinstated and appeared in 17 games before his second stint, July 9-20. He hit .236/.281/.438 (84-for-356) overall, .279/.333/.477 (24-for-86) against left-handed pitching and hit nine home runs in a 14-game span from June 26-July 21. He also recorded a multi-homer game on August 5 at Tropicana Field.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Rays have agreed to a one-year, $3.5 million contract with free agent outfielder Avisaíl García (ah-vee-sigh-EEL). He has a chance to earn an additional $2.5 million in incentives. To make room on the 40-man roster, right-handed pitcher Oliver Drake was designated for assignment.

García, 27, hit a career-high 19 home runs last season for the Chicago White Sox despite being limited to 93 games due to two stints on the disabled list with a strained right hamstring. He missed nearly two months for his first stint on the disabled list, April 24-June 21, then was reinstated and appeared in 17 games before his second stint, July 9-20. He hit .236/.281/.438 (84-for-356) overall, .279/.333/.477 (24-for-86) against left-handed pitching and hit nine home runs in a 14-game span from June 26-July 21. He also recorded a multi-homer game on August 5 at Tropicana Field.

In 2017, García enjoyed a breakout season, batting .330/.380/.506 (171-for-518) with 18 home runs and 80 RBI. He was selected via the player vote to his first career All-Star Team, becoming the first White Sox outfielder to make the All-Star roster since Carlos Quentin in 2011. His .330 avg. ranked second in the American League behind Houston's José Altuve (.346), and his .424 avg. against left-handed pitching led the majors. He also ranked among AL leaders in on-base pct. (.380, sixth), multi-hit games (52, tied for sixth) and hits (171, 10th). He was named the White Sox recipient of the Heart and Hustle Award by the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association (MLBPAA), which honors active players who demonstrate a passion for the game of baseball and best embody its values, spirit and traditions.

García was signed by the Detroit Tigers as an international free agent in July 2007. Over parts of seven seasons in the majors with the Tigers (2012-13) and White Sox (2013-18), he has hit .271/.321/.420 (624-for-2,303) with 88 doubles, 76 home runs and 302 RBI. He is a career .304/.358/.457 (179-for-588) hitter against left-handed pitching and has hit six career home runs at Tropicana Field, his second-most at any visiting ballpark (Comerica Park, seven).

Drake, 32, has spent parts of four seasons in the majors, going 5-6 with a 4.59 ERA (137.1-IP, 70-ER) in 135 appearances, all in relief. Last season, he pitched in the majors for the Milwaukee Brewers, Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Angels, Toronto Blue Jays and the Minnesota Twins, becoming the first player in major league history to pitch for five different teams in one season. This offseason, he was claimed by the Rays off waivers from the Twins on November 1, designated for assignment on November 20 and claimed by the Blue Jays off waivers on November 26. He was designated for assignment by the Blue Jays on December 30 and acquired by the Rays in exchange for cash considerations on January 4.

Tampa Bay Rays

Rays name Minor League coaching staffs for 2019

The Tampa Bay Rays have named the Minor League on-field coaching and medical staffs for the 2019 season. Among the organizational changes are Craig Albernaz (field) and Tomas Francisco (catching) moving into roles as minor league coordinators, Brady Williams managing Triple-A Durham, Reinaldo Ruiz managing Class-A Bowling Green and Rafael Valenzuela managing the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Rays. Morgan Ensberg was hired to manage Double-A Montgomery and Jeff Smith was hired to manage Class-A Charlotte. In addition, Quinton McCracken (coach) will join the Durham staff and Brady North (coach) will join the GCL Rays staff.

Albernaz, 36, has been named minor league field coordinator, joining Michael Johns. Last season, he was named Midwest League Manager of the Year, leading Bowling Green to its first championship in their nine seasons in the Midwest League. The title wrapped up a historic campaign for the Hot Rods, as their 90 wins led Minor League Baseball and set a record for a Rays affiliate. Following the season, Bowling Green was named Baseball America's Minor League Team of the Year. In 2017, as manager of Short-A Hudson Valley, Albernaz led the Renegades to their third New York-Penn League title in franchise history. He was a coach with Hudson Valley in 2016 and with Rookie-level Princeton in 2015. He had a nine-year playing career as a minor league catcher, eight of which he spent in the Rays organization.

The Tampa Bay Rays have named the Minor League on-field coaching and medical staffs for the 2019 season. Among the organizational changes are Craig Albernaz (field) and Tomas Francisco (catching) moving into roles as minor league coordinators, Brady Williams managing Triple-A Durham, Reinaldo Ruiz managing Class-A Bowling Green and Rafael Valenzuela managing the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Rays. Morgan Ensberg was hired to manage Double-A Montgomery and Jeff Smith was hired to manage Class-A Charlotte. In addition, Quinton McCracken (coach) will join the Durham staff and Brady North (coach) will join the GCL Rays staff.

Albernaz, 36, has been named minor league field coordinator, joining Michael Johns. Last season, he was named Midwest League Manager of the Year, leading Bowling Green to its first championship in their nine seasons in the Midwest League. The title wrapped up a historic campaign for the Hot Rods, as their 90 wins led Minor League Baseball and set a record for a Rays affiliate. Following the season, Bowling Green was named Baseball America's Minor League Team of the Year. In 2017, as manager of Short-A Hudson Valley, Albernaz led the Renegades to their third New York-Penn League title in franchise history. He was a coach with Hudson Valley in 2016 and with Rookie-level Princeton in 2015. He had a nine-year playing career as a minor league catcher, eight of which he spent in the Rays organization.

Francisco, 30, has been appointed minor league catching coordinator, replacing Paul Hoover, who was named to Kevin Cash's coaching staff as major league field coordinator. Francisco spent the previous two seasons on the coaching staff for the GCL Rays. Prior to that, he spent three seasons on the Dominican Summer League Rays staff after retiring from a four-year playing career in the Rays system. The former catcher originally signed with the Rays on May 3, 2006 and started his professional career with the DSL Rays. He reached as high as Bowling Green in 2010.

Williams, 39, becomes Durham's manager after five seasons at the helm for Montgomery. Last year, he led the Biscuits to a postseason berth for a fourth consecutive season. They finished the regular season with 79 wins, their most since 2007. Previously, Williams managed Charlotte (2013), Bowling Green (2010-12) and Hudson Valley (2009). He coached at Class-A Vero Beach in 2008 after serving the previous two years as a coach at Class-A Columbus (2007) and Southwest Michigan (2006). Williams was selected by the Boston Red Sox in the 45th round of the 1999 June Draft, and the former first baseman played five seasons of minor league ball with the Red Sox (1999-2001), Minnesota Twins (2002) and Rays (2003) before joining the coaching ranks. He is the son of former Rays special instructor and big league manager Jimy Williams.

Ruiz, 38, returns to manage Bowling Green after spending one season at the helm for Charlotte. He managed the Hot Rods from 2015-17, leading them to the postseason twice and a then-franchise-record 84 wins in 2016. During the 2016-17 offseason, he coached the Brisbane Bandits of the Australian Baseball League and helped them win the Claxton Shield trophy. Ruiz served as hitting coach for Princeton (2012-14), Hudson Valley (2010-11) and the GCL Rays (2009), and as catching instructor for the Rookie-level Venezuelan Summer League Rays (2007-08). He has also coached first (2013-14) and third base (2014-15) for the Bravos de Margarita in the Venezuelan Winter League, and spent two years (2005-06) as the hitting coach for the Navegantes del Magallanes in the VWL after concluding an eight-year career as a professional catcher.

Valenzuela, 31, was named manager of the GCL Rays, and it will mark his first season managing at any level. He has served as a coach for three different affiliates, most recently with Princeton last season. For the second half of the 2017 season, he replaced Craig Albernaz, who was named manager of Hudson Valley, on the Durham coaching staff. He began his coaching career with the GCL Rays in 2016 following a four-year playing career in the Houston Astros organization (2010-13).

Ensberg, 43, joins the Rays organization to manage Montgomery, replacing Brady Williams. He spent the previous two seasons managing in the Astros system, with Class-A Buies Creek in the Carolina League last year and with Short-A Tri-City in the New York-Penn League in 2017. He spent the 2016 season as the Astros minor league mindset coach, the 2014-15 seasons as the Astros minor league special assignment coach and the 2013 season as the infield coach at Class-A Lancaster. He joined the coaching ranks in 2011 and spent two seasons as a hitters and infielders coach for the University of California San Diego. Ensberg played parts of eight seasons in the majors with the Astros (2000, 2002-07), San Diego Padres (2007) and New York Yankees (2008). He was named the Astros MVP in 2005, when they won the National League pennant. He also came to Rays camp as a non-roster invite in 2009, but was released at the end of spring training.

Smith, 44, joins the Rays organization to manage Charlotte, replacing Reinaldo Ruiz. He has spent the last 14 seasons coaching or managing at the professional level, including the last two seasons in the majors as first base coach for the Twins, where he also assisted with catching instruction and baserunning. Prior to that, he managed in the Twins organization for Class-A Fort Myers (2008-09, 2015-16), Double-A New Britain (2010-14) and Class-A Beloit (2006-07) and coached for the GCL Twins in 2005. He was named Florida State League Manager of the Year in 2009, leading the Miracle to an 80-58 record. Smith was selected by the Twins in the 1995 June Draft and played in the organization through the 2002 season. He also played minor league ball in the Red Sox (2003) and Texas Rangers (2004) organizations. He totaled 658 games in the minor leagues before suffering a career-ending left knee injury.

McCracken, 48, joins the Durham coaching staff after one season as the minor league outfield and baserunning coordinator for the Miami Marlins. He spent the previous five seasons in the front office of the Astros, two as the director of player personnel (2016-17) and three as the director of player development (2013-15). Before joining the Astros, he worked two seasons in the front office of the Arizona Diamondbacks as their assistant director of player development. McCracken played in the majors for parts of 12 seasons from 1995-2006, including three seasons for the Rays. He was the club's second selection in the 1997 Expansion Draft and started the team's inaugural game in 1998, batting leadoff and playing center field. He scored the first run and recorded the first stolen base in franchise history. He was named Team MVP for the Rays in 1998, when he hit .292 (179-for-614) with seven home runs, 59 RBI and 19 stolen bases. He also compiled an 18-game hitting streak and recorded 18 outfield assists, still a club record, that season. McCracken attended the 1998 Devil Rays 20-year reunion last season.

North, 27, joins the coaching staff of the GCL Rays, and it will mark his first coaching experience in the professional ranks. Most recently, he was the director of hitting and mental performance at Top Level Athletes in Orlando, where he created and implemented individualized hitting programs through the use of movements, data and mental conditioning. Previously, he served as an assistant coach at Cumberland University, where he also played collegiately for the 2014 NAIA National Championship Team. He graduated from Cumberland with a master's degree in sport and exercise science. He was the hitting coach for two seasons at Gaither High School in Tampa, including the 2016 state championship team.

Other changes to the minor league coaching and medical staffs for the 2019 season: Coach German Melendez will move from Charlotte to Princeton, coach Ivan Ochoa will move from the DSL Rays to Charlotte, conditioning coach Sergio West will move from Princeton to Charlotte and conditioning coach Paul Jones will move from Charlotte to the GCL Rays.

See the third page of the attachment for a full list of the minor league coordinators, on-field coaching and medical staffs for the 2019 season.

For the Major League staff, the Rays have hired Jean Ramirez as bullpen catcher, replacing Mayo Acosta; and Josh Rodrigues as replay administrator.

In baseball operations, Sandy Sternberg has been hired as director, development strategy; and Kate Martinez as assistant sports dietician. Promotions within baseball operations include Ryan Bristow to assistant director, pro scouting; Cole Figueroa to assistant director, hitting development; Hamilton Marx to assistant director, amateur scouting; Ryan Harmon to lead sports dietitian, baseball performance science; Samantha Bireley to coordinator, baseball administration; Ryan Pennell to coordinator, baseball performance science; Simon Rosenbaum to coordinator, baseball development; and Jeremy Sowers to coordinator, major league operations.

Tampa Bay Rays

First workout dates, photo days & game times announced for 2019 Spring Training presented by Camping World

Following are the first workout dates, subject to change, both for pitchers and catchers and full squads of the 30 Major League Clubs for 2019 Spring Training presented by Camping World. First is a listing for American League and National League Clubs, followed by a listing by Grapefruit League and the Cactus League affiliation.

In addition, below the first workout dates is the schedule of 2019 Spring Training Photo Days for each of the 30 Clubs.

2019 Spring Training First Workout Dates (pitchers and catchers / full squad)
 

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Angels: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Astros: Feb. 14/Feb. 18
Athletics: Feb. 11/Feb. 16
Blue Jays: Feb. 14/Feb. 18
Indians: Feb. 12/Feb. 18
Mariners: Feb. 12/Feb. 16
Orioles: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Rangers: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Rays: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Red Sox: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Royals: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Tigers: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Twins: Feb. 14/Feb. 18
White Sox: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Yankees: Feb. 14/Feb. 19

Following are the first workout dates, subject to change, both for pitchers and catchers and full squads of the 30 Major League Clubs for 2019 Spring Training presented by Camping World. First is a listing for American League and National League Clubs, followed by a listing by Grapefruit League and the Cactus League affiliation.

In addition, below the first workout dates is the schedule of 2019 Spring Training Photo Days for each of the 30 Clubs.

2019 Spring Training First Workout Dates (pitchers and catchers / full squad)
 

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Angels: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Astros: Feb. 14/Feb. 18
Athletics: Feb. 11/Feb. 16
Blue Jays: Feb. 14/Feb. 18
Indians: Feb. 12/Feb. 18
Mariners: Feb. 12/Feb. 16
Orioles: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Rangers: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Rays: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Red Sox: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Royals: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Tigers: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Twins: Feb. 14/Feb. 18
White Sox: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Yankees: Feb. 14/Feb. 19

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Braves: Feb. 16/Feb. 21
Brewers: Feb. 14/Feb. 19
Cardinals: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Cubs: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Diamondbacks: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Dodgers: Feb. 13/Feb. 19
Giants: Feb. 14/Feb. 19
Marlins: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Mets: Feb. 14/Feb. 18
Nationals: Feb. 14/Feb. 19
Padres: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Phillies: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Pirates: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Reds: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Rockies: Feb. 13/Feb. 18

Grapefruit League Photo Days in Arizona (all times local)

Sunday, February 17th
7:30 a.m. Tampa Bay Rays, Port Charlotte

Tuesday, February 19th
6:00 a.m. Philadelphia Phillies, Clearwater
6:45 a.m. Houston Astros, West Palm Beach
7:00 a.m. Boston Red Sox, Lee County
7:30 a.m. Detroit Tigers, Lakeland

Wednesday, February 20th
6:30 a.m. Pittsburgh Pirates, Bradenton
7:00 a.m. Baltimore Orioles, Sarasota
7:00 a.m. Miami Marlins, Jupiter

Thursday, February 21st
7:00 a.m. New York Mets, Port St. Lucie
7:00 a.m. St. Louis Cardinals, Jupiter
8:30 a.m. New York Yankees, Tampa Friday, February 22nd
6:40 a.m. Washington Nationals, West Palm Beach
7:00 a.m. Atlanta Braves, Disney
7:30 a.m. Minnesota Twins, Lee County
8:00 a.m. Toronto Blue Jays, Dunedin

Cactus League Photo Days in Arizona (all times local)

Monday, February 18th
7:00 a.m. Seattle Mariners, Peoria
 
Tuesday, February 19th
6:45 a.m. Oakland Athletics, Mesa
7:00 a.m. Cincinnati Reds, Goodyear
7:00 a.m. Los Angeles Angels, Tempe
 
Wednesday, February 20th
6:30 a.m. Arizona Diamondbacks, Salt River Fields
6:45 a.m. Colorado Rockies, Salt River Fields
6:45 a.m. Texas Rangers, Surprise
7:00 a.m. Chicago Cubs, Mesa
7:00 a.m. Los Angeles Dodgers, Glendale
 
Thursday, February 21st
6:00 a.m. Chicago White Sox, Glendale
6:00 a.m. San Diego Padres, Peoria
6:45 a.m. San Francisco Giants, Scottsdale
7:00 a.m. Kansas City Royals, Surprise
7:30 a.m. Cleveland Indians, Goodyear
 
Friday, February 22nd
7:30 a.m. Milwaukee Brewers, Phoenix

MLB, Tampa Bay Rays, Kansas City Royals

Rays announce Spring Training ticket specials

Single-game tickets go on sale this Friday, January 18 at 10 a.m.

The Tampa Bay Rays today announced value-laden ticket promotions and specials for spring training home games at Charlotte Sports Park. The Rays 2019 spring training season is presented by Visit Tampa Bay. Single-game tickets go on sale this Friday, January 18 at 10 a.m., exclusively through raysbaseball.com. 

Rays ticket specials offered throughout the spring training season include: 

The Tampa Bay Rays today announced value-laden ticket promotions and specials for spring training home games at Charlotte Sports Park. The Rays 2019 spring training season is presented by Visit Tampa Bay. Single-game tickets go on sale this Friday, January 18 at 10 a.m., exclusively through raysbaseball.com. 

Rays ticket specials offered throughout the spring training season include: 

Salute to Service presented by Suncoast Credit Union: Military, Teachers and First Responders can purchase Field Reserved and Baseline Reserved tickets to five select home games, including spring training Opening Day on Friday, February 22, for just $10. Tickets will be available exclusively online through raysbaseball.com/specials. Affiliation will be verified by ID.me, a third-party MLB approved verification service. 

Senior Special: Fans 60 years or older can purchase $15 Field Reserved and Baseline Reserved tickets for three select games through raysbaseball.com/specials. 

Exhibition Game at Tropicana Field: On Tuesday, March 26, the Rays will play an exhibition game at Tropicana Field at 12:35 p.m. against the Detroit Tigers. General admission tickets for this game will be available for $15.  

Rays Insiders Presale: Fans who sign up for the Rays Insider, the Rays official email newsletter, will have the opportunity to participate in a special online presale on Thursday, January 17. The registration deadline for this presale is Wednesday, January 16 at noon. Fans can visit raysbaseball.com/newsletter today to register. Current subscribers need not re-apply.  

Season Tickets: Spring training season tickets provide access to the best seat locations at the largest discount. Spring training season ticket holders receive additional benefits, including the opportunity to purchase discounted parking and merchandise, a Rays spring training season ticket holder T-shirt and visor and invitations to exclusive season ticket holder events. Season tickets for the 17 home spring training games scheduled to be played at Charlotte Sports Park start at just $298. 

Mini Packs and Groups: Fans can secure 2019 spring training tickets before single-game tickets go on sale to the general public by purchasing a 3- or 6-game spring training mini pack. These packs offer a discount off single-game prices for most games and start at $44 per pack. Group, Suite and catered Picnic Area opportunities are also available.

Beginning Saturday, January 26 at 10 a.m., tickets will also be available via phone by calling 888-FAN-RAYS and at the Charlotte Sports Park box office.
Fans can purchase 2019 spring training season tickets, mini packs and group tickets through raysbaseball.com/spring or by calling 888-FAN-RAYS. 

Tampa Bay Rays

Rays agree to terms with three players for 2019

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.-The Tampa Bay Rays have agreed to terms for the 2019 season with three of their four arbitration-eligible players: third baseman Matt Duffy, right-handed relief pitcher Chaz Roe and catcher Mike Zunino. The Rays will proceed to arbitration with outfielder Tommy Pham.

Duffy, 27, has hit at least .290 in each of the two seasons (2015, 2018) he has qualified for the batting title. He hit .294/.361/.366 (148-for-503) with four home runs, 44 RBI and 12 stolen bases in 132 games (126 starts) last year after missing the entire 2017 season recovering from Achilles surgery. His .294 avg. ranked 12th in the American League, .361 on-base pct. was a career high and his 12 stolen bases tied a career high. According to FanGraphs, 25.3 pct. of his balls in play were line drives, sixth-highest in the AL. He was the Rays Opening Day third baseman last season, his third Opening Day roster and second start, and his season debut marked his first game in the majors since September 5, 2016.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.-The Tampa Bay Rays have agreed to terms for the 2019 season with three of their four arbitration-eligible players: third baseman Matt Duffy, right-handed relief pitcher Chaz Roe and catcher Mike Zunino. The Rays will proceed to arbitration with outfielder Tommy Pham.

Duffy, 27, has hit at least .290 in each of the two seasons (2015, 2018) he has qualified for the batting title. He hit .294/.361/.366 (148-for-503) with four home runs, 44 RBI and 12 stolen bases in 132 games (126 starts) last year after missing the entire 2017 season recovering from Achilles surgery. His .294 avg. ranked 12th in the American League, .361 on-base pct. was a career high and his 12 stolen bases tied a career high. According to FanGraphs, 25.3 pct. of his balls in play were line drives, sixth-highest in the AL. He was the Rays Opening Day third baseman last season, his third Opening Day roster and second start, and his season debut marked his first game in the majors since September 5, 2016.

Roe, 32, made a career-high 61 appearances last year, his first full major league season, and went 1-3 with a 3.58 ERA (50.1-IP, 20-ER) and 53 strikeouts. His 32 holds tied teammate José Alvarado for the AL lead and tied for third in franchise history, behind Joel Peralta in 2013 (41) and 2012 (37). According to FanGraphs, he threw his slider for 52.6 pct. of total pitches, fifth-highest rate in the majors (min. 50 IP). He held right-handed hitters to a .188/.253/.319 (26-for-138) line last season and has limited righties to a .192 avg. (71-for-370) over parts of six major league seasons.

Zunino, 27, was acquired from the Seattle Mariners in a five-player trade following the season. He hit .201/.259/.410 (75-for-373) with 20 home runs and 44 RBI in 113 games (102 starts) last season, his second consecutive season with at least 20 homers and third overall. Over the last two seasons, his 45 home runs rank fourth among major league catchers behind Salvador Pérez (54), Gary Sánchez (51) and Yasmani Grandal (46). According to FanGraphs, since the start of the 2017 season he ranks sixth among major league catchers with 5.1 Wins Above Replacement (WAR). In addition, last season he was named the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year at catcher. According to FanGraphs, he tied for first among AL catchers and tied for second among major league catchers last season with 12 Defensive Runs Saved.

Tampa Bay Rays

Rays and Rowdies announce personnel moves

On Tuesday, Tampa Bay Rays Presidents Brian Auld and Matt Silverman announced several personnel changes within the organization:

• Rafaela A. Amador has been promoted to vice president, public affairs;
• Dave Haller has been promoted to vice president, communications;
• Barry Newell has been promoted to senior director, business operations and analytics;
• Emily Miller has been promoted to director, marketing and creative services; and
• Nico Castillo has been promoted to director, soccer operations.

On Tuesday, Tampa Bay Rays Presidents Brian Auld and Matt Silverman announced several personnel changes within the organization:

• Rafaela A. Amador has been promoted to vice president, public affairs;
• Dave Haller has been promoted to vice president, communications;
• Barry Newell has been promoted to senior director, business operations and analytics;
• Emily Miller has been promoted to director, marketing and creative services; and
• Nico Castillo has been promoted to director, soccer operations.

Tampa Bay Rays

Rays announce renovations to Tropicana Field

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.-Today the Tampa Bay Rays announced a new series of capital improvements and renovations for Tropicana Field, featuring the reconfiguration of the ballpark's seating capacity to an estimated 25,000-26,000. The renovations are headlined by the creation of the Left Field Ledge-a new area in the lower seating bowl featuring premium seating for small groups and social spaces with views of the playing field-the installation of LED lights throughout the stadium and concourses, and the closure of the upper deck level.

 

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.-Today the Tampa Bay Rays announced a new series of capital improvements and renovations for Tropicana Field, featuring the reconfiguration of the ballpark's seating capacity to an estimated 25,000-26,000. The renovations are headlined by the creation of the Left Field Ledge-a new area in the lower seating bowl featuring premium seating for small groups and social spaces with views of the playing field-the installation of LED lights throughout the stadium and concourses, and the closure of the upper deck level.

 

"These renovations mark our continued commitment to providing a first-rate fan experience at Tropicana Field," said Rays President Matt Silverman. "Together, in concert with the reduction in seating capacity, these investments will help create a more intimate, entertaining and appealing experience for our fans."

 

The Rays have invested more than $50 million in Tropicana Field renovations since 2005, including more than $15 million in the last two years. The 2019 capital improvements and renovations will upgrade fan amenities in the following ways:

 

Offering more social gathering spaces with the creation of a new common area, the Left Field Ledge (formerly the tarped seats above the left field crosswalk) to include a full-service bar, ledge tables, and seated drink rails;

 

Redesigning and enhancing two primary fan entrances (Gates 4 and 5) to improve the flow of fans through increased access points and wayfinding features;

 

Exchanging the current turf for a new Shaw Sports Turf product, designed to withstand the myriad events held at Tropicana Field throughout the calendar year; 

 

Adding access from the Budweiser Porch and Ballpark & Rec areas to the Outfielder bar behind center field as well as creating an external entrance to the food and beverage space;

 

Redoubling the organization's commitment to sustainable energy practices with the replacement of the existing field lights with energy-efficient LED lights, improving overall on-field playability and entertainment lighting throughout the ballpark;

 

Elimination of the upper deck level which reconfigures the ballpark seating areas to include the first, mezzanine and second seating levels, as well as the new GTE Financial Party Deck, and concentrates fans closer to the field of play.

 

Season Ticket Holders will have an opportunity to explore these enhancements to the ballpark at Fan Fest, presented by Tampa Bay Times, on February 9, 2019 with their exclusive early access. Season Ticket Holders who have purchased seats in the upper level for the 2019 season, presented by Tampa General Hospital, will have the option to relocate to an upgraded location.

Tampa Bay Rays

Rays sign Charlie Morton to two-year contract

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Rays have agreed to a two-year, $30 million contract with free agent right-handed pitcher Charlie Morton. The contract includes a club option for the 2021 season.

Morton, 35, went 15-3 with a 3.13 ERA (167-IP, 58-ER) and 201 strikeouts in 30 starts with the Houston Astros last season. He led the majors with an .833 winning pct. and ranked among American League leaders in wins (tied for 10th), ERA (seventh), opponents' batting average (.213, fifth) and strikeouts per nine innings (10.83, fifth). His 15 wins, 3.13 ERA, 30 starts and 201 strikeouts were all career bests. The 11-year veteran was added to the AL All-Star Team as an injury replacement, his first career selection. His average fastball velocity, according to FanGraphs, was 95.7 mph, fourth in the AL.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Rays have agreed to a two-year, $30 million contract with free agent right-handed pitcher Charlie Morton. The contract includes a club option for the 2021 season.

Morton, 35, went 15-3 with a 3.13 ERA (167-IP, 58-ER) and 201 strikeouts in 30 starts with the Houston Astros last season. He led the majors with an .833 winning pct. and ranked among American League leaders in wins (tied for 10th), ERA (seventh), opponents' batting average (.213, fifth) and strikeouts per nine innings (10.83, fifth). His 15 wins, 3.13 ERA, 30 starts and 201 strikeouts were all career bests. The 11-year veteran was added to the AL All-Star Team as an injury replacement, his first career selection. His average fastball velocity, according to FanGraphs, was 95.7 mph, fourth in the AL.

In two seasons with the Astros, Morton went 29-10 with a 3.36 ERA (313.2-IP, 117-ER) and 364 strikeouts in 55 starts. Over the last two seasons, he ranks fourth among AL pitchers in winning pct. (.744, min. 20 decisions), is tied for fith in wins and tied for eighth in strikeouts. Over that span, among AL pitchers with at least 300 IP, he ranks sixth in opponents' batting average (.220) and ninth in ERA. Morton has pitched in three postseasons, including twice with the Astros the last two years. In 2017, he earned the win in Game 7 of both the ALCS and World Series, becoming the first pitcher in major league history to win two Game 7s in a single postseason. In the 2017 World Series, he recorded a 1.74 ERA (10.1-IP, 2-ER), allowing only five hits and one walk with 11 strikeouts.

Morton was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the third round of the 2002 June Draft out of Joel Barlow High School in Redding, Conn. In 11 seasons in the majors with the Braves (2008), Pittsburgh Pirates (2009-15), Philadelphia Phillies (2016) and Astros (2017-18), he is 75-81 with a 4.23 ERA (1,206.2-IP, 567-ER) in 217 appearances (216 starts). Min. 1,000 IP, his 55.1 pct. ground ball rate ranks fourth among active pitchers, according to Stats LLC. Morton and his wife, Cindy, reside in Bradenton with their four children.

This marks the third time under Stuart Sternberg's ownership group the Rays signed a player who was an All-Star the season prior. The club signed catcher Wilson Ramos following the 2016 season and right-handed relief pitcher Grant Balfour following the 2013 season.

Tampa Bay Rays