The Rays announced today (via press release) that they have re-signed Gabe Kapler to a one-year deal. The deal is a major league contract for $1.05 million. He made $1.0 million last season.
Kapler, who turned 34 in August, hit .239-8-32 with a 98 OPS+ and .334 wOBA as the Rays primary right fielder against left-handed pitchers.
With Ben Zobrist and Matt Joyce in the mix to play right field, this move is a bit surprising. Does this mean the Rays are leaning towards using Zobrist as the most-days second baseman and a Joyce-Kapler platoon in right? Or is this just insurance in case either Joyce or Sean Rodriguez are not ready to be major leaguers? If the Rays are still leaning towards Zorilla and Joyce in right field, Kapler would be relegated to 5th outfielder. It is hard to imagine that Kapler would have signed so quickly without some assurance that he will compete for regular playing time.