The Tampa Bay Rays have joined the San Diego Padres in showing trade interest for Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop Nick Ahmed. Additionally, the Rays made their next round of Spring Training roster cuts.
The team is uncertain as to when Matt Duffy, who is recovering from Achilles tendon surgery, will be able to begin full baseball activities.
For his part, Duffy headed to Charlotte, N.C., Thursday to see Dr. Bob Anderson — the orthopedist who performed the surgery — seeking answers for the slow progress in his rehabilitation.
I don’t think it’s anything serious, Duffy said. I think if it was, it would feel bad every day. Some days it feels good, and some days it feels bad. So hopefully he can give us some answers on something we could possibly be doing differently and hopefully get this thing figured out.
The Rays were already operating under something of a strained middle infield in the wake of the Logan Forsythe trade to the Dodgers.
Tim Beckham is expected to take over at short in Duffy’s absence, leaving Tampa Bay short a right-handed hitting platoon option for Brad Miller, who has struggled against lefties. Daniel Robertson could make the team as a utility infielder behind Beckham should they go with an in house option, as could Michael McKenry or Nick Franklin.
Ahmed has a reputation of being an excellent defender at short, collecting +34 DRS and a 14.3 UZR/150 over his career at the position. He, however, only has a .597 OPS to his name over 842 plate appearances in his brief career.
On the plus side, as, Ahmed is controllable through the 2020 season, and potentially through 2021 spending on how much more service time he accumulates this season — he has already clocked two years and 54 days of service time in his career.
The Rays reassigned eight players to minor league camp on Thursday:
INF/OF Jake Bauers
OF Johnny Field
1B Casey Gillaspie
INF Jake Hager
3B Patrick Leonard
OF Dayron Varona
RHP Andrew Kittredge
RHP Neil Wagner
The team also released RHP David Carpenter and RHP Jeff Walters.