The Tampa Bay Rays cleared space on the 40-man roster Friday to protect what president of baseball operations Matt Silverman called the “next wave of Rays pitchers who will come up through our system and be a big asset for the major league club.”
They are left-hander Blake Snell, the 2015 minor league player of the year, and right-handers Jacob Faria, Taylor Guerrieri and German Marquez. Infielder Taylor Motter also was added to the roster.
To make room, the Rays designated four players for assignment — catcher J.P. Arencibia, outfielder Daniel Nava and right-handers Brandon Gomes and Kirby Yates. They also outrighted lefty Grayson Garvin and righty Burch Smith to Durham.
The Rays claimed right-hander Chase Whitley off waivers from the Yankees. Whitley is recovering from Tommy John surgery and will not be ready to pitch until after the All-Star break.
Silverman said the decisions on Gomes and Arencibia were tough to make.
With the way the bullpen is constructed, Silverman said it was difficult to see Gomes as a “great fit” in a crowded bullpen.
Silverman said he likes the current group of catchers with Rene Rivera but added it’s possible Arencibia could return on a minor league deal. But designating him for assignment will make that difficult.
Silverman said Snell will dictate his arrival in Tampa Bay but added he does see him making an impact with the Rays in 2016.
Information from Tribune wires was used in this report.