Just prior to the August 31 deadline, the Rays promoted triple-A catcher Jose Lobaton to the big leagues and placed him on the DL. Why? That way, if the Rays added a hitter* to the roster after August 31, Lobaton’s postseason eligibility could transferred to the new player even though the new player wasn’t added until September (this is how David Price was eligible for the postseason in 2008).
Then today, the Durham Bulls announced that Lobaton has been assigned to Durham on a rehab assignment. Does this mean Lobaton might actually play for the Rays in October? Not likely. More plausible is that they used the rehab assignment designation so that Lobaton can play in the triple-A championship and still remain on the DL and give the Rays postseason roster flexibility.
Genius. Pure genius.
* Only a hitter can replace a hitter and only a pitcher can replace a pitcher.