Much has been made recently by some outside the Bay Area about how “old” the Rays are now that they have signed Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon. But are they? After all, they did lose 742 free agents this winter.

But the truth is, the Rays are younger, and they have more control over the players on the 40-man roster. In Major League Baseball, a player cannot file for free agency until they have been in the big leagues for six years.

Here is a look at how many total (and average) years remain for all the players on the projected opening day roster until they hit free agency…

As you can see, the Rays have control of the current roster for 187 player-years. That is an average of 4.7 years until each player is eligible for free agency. That is 20 more player-years more than each of the past two seasons and more in line with what the roster looked like on opening day 2008.

And after the jump, a look at how the roster breaks down each year and by the number of players under control by total years. As you can see, the Rays love players that have the maximum amount of control left (6 years)…



  1. Greg says:

    Very interesting...but obviously, there is a difference between average age and years of control. You say:

    "But the truth is, the Rays are younger..."

    But you didn't give the actual average team age compared to previous years. While the more important factor is probably years of control, they are not the same thing. Are they also younger than they've been in the past?

  2. Joe says:

    I want to trade for Michael Wuertz.

    Oh sorry, that's all that has been on mind lately

  3. phil says:

    Chad Durbin is a free agent..

    • Joe says:

      No one is taking away my desire for Wuertz but Friedman claims there are 2 open spots, if Durbin wants to fill the other one(and take Sonny's spot and JP comes back) that's fine with me but first, give me Wuertz.

  4. Hal says:

    Interesting that we designated Andersen and Ruggiano. Well, Ruggiano is not really a surprise - but Andersen must just not have really showed. He was kind of an odd man without a position.

    • Joe says:

      I wont miss either but it makes me wonder why we kept out 5th string catcher, Lobaton. Maybe we are working on a Shoppach trade and using Chirinos? Well I hope so.

  5. Gus says:

    For a team as tight on money as the Rays, it must burn them that Anderson pocketed $1.75M for one year in the minors.

    Sometimes, they outsmart themselves.

    Rays front office: Good to great at scouting minors and US amatuers. Bad at scouting MLB free agents and signing foreigners.

    • Tom says:

      You win some, you lose some- Aki worked out pretty well.

      • Gus says:

        Aki was okay, but not a steal; I was more thinking of the first $ signing they made for the bullpen -- a sore-armed releiver from Japan who I think was last seen at the Tyrone Mall Hooters, blowing every dollar of his bonus. Burrell. Izzy. Percy. Anderson. Even trade/quasi-signings like Bradford, Shoppach and Qualls. That's $30M plus right there in bad signings.

        On the upside, they seem to know other people's minor leaguers better than their own. Pena (was in AAA for Boston?), S-Rod, Garza (had some MLB time, but was still mostly prospect), Balfour was up and down. Hopefully this load from the Cubs has a player or two in it. I guess they need to keep trying to sign free agents, but my preference is to keep it in the bargain bin only. Anything with 7 figures is trouble for this organization.


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