The Rays added four minor leaguers to the 40-man roster to protect them from the upcoming Rule 5 draft. The players added:
- Infielder Vince Belnome – The Durham Bulls MVP in 2013 hit .300 with 8 home runs and a .408 OBP in 127 games playing 1B, 2B, and 3B.
- Starting pitcher Jesse Hahn – Hahn, a right-hander, made 19 starts for Charlotte in single-A posting a 2.15 ERA with 63 strikeouts and 18 walks in 67.0 innings.
- Relief pitcher CJ Riefenhauser – In 73.2 innings between double-A and triple-A, the lefty had a 1.22 ERA with 70 strikeouts and 19 walks.
- Relief pitcher Kirby Yates – In 61.2 innings for the Durham Bulls, the right-handed Yates struck out 93 and walked 23 and posted a 1.90 ERA.
If the Rays had not added these players to the 40-man roster, other teams would have been able to select them in the Rule 5 draft for a nominal feel. Players selected in the Rule 5 draft must remain on the new team’s major league roster all season or be offered back to the original team. The idea of the Rule 5 draft is to protect players from getting stuck in the minors of one organization when they might be good enough to be in the big leagues if they were in a different organization.
In the case of the Rays, they had seven open spots on the 40-man roster, so it made sense to use a few of those to protect some players that could potentially help the team down the road.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- The Rays also announced the signings of pitchers Mark Lowe, Victor Mateo, and Sam Runion to minor league deals with an invite to spring training. Lowe is the only one of the group with big league experience having spent parts of 8 seasons with the Mariners, Rangers, and Angels.
- The Rays are one of several teams to show interest in Corey Hart, who missed the entire 2013 season with a knee injury that required surgery. In 2012, the 1B/OF hit .270 with 30 home runs. [MLBTR]
- In what may be either the hardest or easiest job in sports, the Rays are hiring a Ticket Operations Manager. [Baseball Jobs]
- Reid Brignac was signed by the Phillies to a minor league deal. [Philly.com]
- I spent this past weekend at the United States Grand Prix. This is what it looked like behind the scenes. [BI Sports]