MLB Free Agency Signings: How Does This Impact the Tampa Bay Rays?

MLB Free Agency Signings: How Does This Impact the Tampa Bay Rays?
Mon 15th February 2021

The Tampa Bay Rays will need to restore its rotation this season, as Blake Snell and Charlie Morton are no longer with the team. The MLB free agency signings the Rays pulled off this season suggest that the club is looking more into getting its farm system to produce this season.

The club signed two prominent international free agents, and they brought back one familiar face. But the team will still be subject to a competitive AL East that features outstanding competition from the Toronto Blue Jays and the New York Yankees.

Here’s a closer look at what you should see with the Rays this season.

Departures to Spot

Charlie Morton is the most noteworthy free agent to depart from the team this season. The starting pitcher left for the Atlanta Braves on a one-year deal.

Blake Snell also left for San Diego Padres through a trade that brought in a few prospects. These losses may be reflective of how the Rays often struggle to spend money on free agents.

The team also saw outfielder Hunter Renfroe leave for the Boston Red Sox on a one-year contract. Other departures include reliever Aaron Loup going to the New York Mets and Nate Lowe moving to the Texas Rangers.

New Additions

The Rays have never been much for spending on free agents, and their efforts in the MLB free agency period represents this well. The Rays signed two new starting pitchers in Chris Archer and Michael Wacha.

Archer comes from the Pittsburgh Pirates and is joining the Rays for the second time in his career. Wacha played with the New York Mets last season and had a 6.62 ERA with a 1-4 record.

The team did acquire Luis Patino from San Diego as part of a trade, but that starter likely will not be with the Rays to start the season. He will probably start the 2021 season with the AAA Durham Bulls.

Much of the Rays’ efforts in the MLB free agency period went towards signing some international free agents. The team signed shortstop Carlos Colmenarez from Venezuela and Dominican outfielder Jhonny Piron.

The two are among the top international prospects in the sport. Both players will not be with the Rays for years, as they will likely play with one of the team’s rookie league clubs at the start. But they are both exciting prospects that could make a difference well down the road.


The Rays managed to bring back a couple of free agents. Catcher Mike Zunino and Kevan Smith both resigned with the Rays, although Zunino is expected to be the team’s starter.

Relief pitcher Andrew Kittredge also signed a deal, while first baseman Ji-Man Choi agreed to a contract after winning the arbitration period.

Future Points to Spot

The 2021 Tampa Bay Rays will be a contender for the AL East, although the always tough New York Yankees and a resurgent Toronto Blue Jays club will make things a challenge.

But the Rays will be looking forward to competing in 2021, especially since the team still has a few high-value prospects who are likely to arrive this season.

Shortstop and top-ranked prospect Wander Franco will likely either reach the team at the start of the season or begin in Durham for a few weeks. Outfielder prospect Josh Lowe will also start the season with the AA Montgomery Biscuits, but he could play a part later this year.

Expect the Rays to be a team to spot this season. The Rays might have lost a few prominent figures this offseason, but the team’s historically strong farm system will still be there to keep things running well.

The MLB season is almost upon us! If you are like us, then you are counting down the days until the season opener. But until then, make sure you check out our MLB hub page, for all the latest on what’s going on in baseball.

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