The Rays have exercised their $2.5MM team option on Joel Peralta for the 2015 season. In kind, in order to create space on the 40-man roster, the Rays have opted to have designate outfielder Jerry Sands and infielder Vince Belnome for assignment, according to a team press release. It should be noted, both Sands and Matt Moore were activated off the 60-day DL.
With the exception of last season, Peralta has been a reliable reliever bullpen since 2010, posting a 3.58 ERA, 9.8 K/9 and 3.49 K/BB rate and averaging 67 innings per season. A victim of the luck dragons last season, Peralta posted a 4.41 ERA in 2014, though he had strong peripherals (10.52 K/9, 2.13 BB/9) and an impressive set of ERA indicators (3.40 FIP, 3.11 xFIP, 2.54 SIERA).
Sands was claimed off waivers from the Pirates prior to the 2014 season. His stint with the Rays was brief — only appearing in 12 games — due to wrist surgery in July. Sands, 27, has a .689 OPS over 273 Major League PA with the Rays and Dodgers since 2011.
Belnome made 14 plate appearances over four games for Tampa Bay. The infielder has a strong .289 BA/.402 OBP/.459 SLG/.861 OPS slash line over 2613 career PA in the minors.
In other Rays related news, per Marc Topkin, in an interview with Matt Silverman on 620 WDAE, it was confirmed that Dave Martinez is one of “a number” of managerial candidates for the position vacated by Joe Maddon, though there are “no preconceived notions” of who will get the job.
It turns out that some guy who used to manage the Rays officially joined the ranks of the curse-ridden Chicago Cubs yesterday. In a press conference at Wrigley Field Monday afternoon, Maddon publicly acknowledged that his previous visit to the Friendly Confines had a subconscious effect on the former skipper, following with awkward, passing reference to the Rays after 30 minutes on the microphone,
One more thing. Can I say, one more thing, please? I want to recognize my guys back in Tampa Bay. Very grateful for all the years that I spent there. Stu (Sternberg) and Matt (Silverman) and Andrew (Friedman) and the staff and the players, outstanding people, and thank you for everything.
Interestingly enough, as Ian Malinowski wrote in his latest piece for DRaysBay, Joe Maddon made an offer to the Rays that would have kept him in Tampa Bay for less money than the Cubs are paying him, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Said Heyman:
Maddon, following what one person described as talks that turned “contentious” after his decision to opt out of his under-market Rays deal, tried to keep things together by making the Rays his own firm proposal. Maddon, ultimately known as a “get-along guy,” was looking to extend an olive branch after nine fruitful years in Tampa Bay with his offer, which was turned down by the Rays, according to people familiar with the talks.