Tampa Bay Rays Roster
- AL East
- Tropicana Field
Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier is available in a trade, but the Rays love him as a clubhouse guy and as their Gold Glove center fielder, so the chances of a trade are unlikely this offseason. With left-hander Blake Snell being traded to the Padres this week, Kiermaier is the only player remaining with a salary over $7 million for the 2021 season. The 30-year-old has an 82 OPS+ since 2018 and a base salary of $23.5 million in the next two seasons, which might make it difficult to move him. He also has a $13 million club option with a $2.5 million buyout in 2023. The defensive whizz hit just .217/.321/.362 during the shortened 2020 season as well, which has lowered his trade value. While Kiermaier can be an effective fantasy bat in stretches, his inconsistency can also prove maddening.
Tampa Bay Rays pitching prospect Brent Honeywell Jr. (elbow) had another right elbow surgery on Wednesday, but the team said it was a minor surgery and that it shouldn't impact Honeywell's availability for the 2021 season. The 25-year-old has had four surgeries on his right elbow since he last pitched in September of 2017 at the Triple-A level. The surgery wasn't related to his other procedures, though, and was just a cleanup of thickening tissue in the capsule on the other side of the elbow. He's expected to resume throwing in January and be ready to take part in spring training in mid-February. Honeywell is the team's No. 7 prospect and is a former second-round pick. He was the MVP in the 2017 Futures Game and had a 31-19 record and 2.80 ERA in 79 games in four minor league seasons. If he's healthy in 2021, he could become a major part of the team's starting rotation. There's still plenty of risk, but Honeywell's price should be on the low side because of his many elbow setbacks in recent years.
Tests revealed that Tampa Bay Rays shortstop prospect Wander Franco (biceps, shoulder), the top prospect in baseball heading into 2021, doesn't have structural damage in his shoulder and biceps area. Franco experienced biceps soreness and shoulder inflammation while playing winter ball in the Dominican Republic and flew back to the U.S. earlier this week to be examined by doctors. It's good news for the Rays, but they are shutting the 19-year-old down for the rest of the winter league season as a precaution. He's expected to be 100 percent recovered going into next season. Franco is expected to play in multiple spring training games, but it's unclear if he'll be invited to big league camp. He hit .350 (7-for-20) with a home run and a stolen base in the Dominican before being shut down. Whenever Franco gets the call to make his major league debut next season, he should become an immediate contributor for fantasy managers at a premium position.
Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena was released in Mexico's Yucatan state on Thursday prior to a hearing following allegations of domestic violence, according to sources. Legal sources said that Arozarena was released from all charges when he reached an agreement with his former partner, who decided not to take legal action against the outfielder. The 25-year-old broke out in the playoffs for Tampa and set a major league record with 10 postseason home runs before losing to the Dodgers in the World Series. He also hit .377 with 14 RBI in 20 playoff games and was named the MVP of the American League Championship Series against the Yankees. Arozarena should be considered a top-50 fantasy outfielder heading into 2021.
Tampa Bay Rays shortstop and top MLB prospect Wander Franco (biceps) hasn't played for his Dominican Winter League team, the Leones del Escogido, since Friday due to a sore right biceps. Franco will travel back to the U.S. to be looked at by team doctors. The 19-year-old hit .350/.435/.500 with a home run and a steal in five games before suffering the injury, also showing off his slick fielding. Franco hit .327/.398/.487 with nine home runs, seven triples and 18 steals in 114 games with Single-A Bowling Green and High-A Charlotte back in 2019. It doesn't sound like his injury is too serious, and the Rays are understandably being cautious with the No. 1 prospect in all of baseball. Whenever Franco makes his MLB debut in 2021, he should contribute immediately for fantasy managers.