Tampa Bay Rays: Scratch Carter, Napoli Off List, Trade Romero

Sep 10, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA;  Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Enny Romero (45) pitches against the New York Yankees in the eighth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Two potential right-handed bats are off the board for the Tampa Bay Rays as Carter and Napoli sign deals with the Yankees and Rangers.

Waiting until the end to sign a free agent could pay dividends for a team such as the Tampa Bay Rays as players choose to take the offer at hand and run with it when time is running out. The two most prominent, free agent power hitters are now dust in the wind.

The list of right-handed bats remaining in the free agent market has been reduced by two as Chris Carter and Mike Napoli have signed deals, but neither is with the Rays.

Carter has agreed to a one-year, $3.5-million deal with the New York Yankees, pending a physical according to USA’s Bob Nightengale and Napoli will return for a third stint with the Texas Rangers on a one-year deal, close to $10-million as report by Jeff Wilson of the Forth Worth Star-Telegram.

Despite being a strikeout machine, Carter shared the National League lead in home runs last season with 41 while leading the league in strikeouts with 206 as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers. The Rays give the impression that they were interested in him having had talks with him; however, there was never any indication what the asking price was.

Nightengale also reports that Carter’s deal came with a $500,000 signing bonus and as well, he can earn an additional $500,000 in incentives. It is a team friendly contract that would have worked out very well for the Rays and somewhat similar Logan Morrison’s deal.

Napoli though was a long shot for the Rays, as it was expected he would garner himself out of the Rays range, and that came to fruition with the Texas deal. Last season with the Cleveland Indians, Napoli had a career year as he set career highs in home runs (34), RBIs (101) and strikeouts (194) while playing in 150 games for the AL Champions.

Where does this leave the Rays regarding that right-handed bat they are looking for? It is a very slim list with 1B/DH Billy Butler, OF Franklin Gutierrez and C/DH/1B and switch-hitter Matt Wieters being the most worthy of any type of discussion. Nevertheless, at the same time you cannot rule out a trade

In the interim, the Rays today traded pitcher Enny Romero to the Washington Nationals for a right-handed pitching prospect Jeffrey Rosa according to the Tampa Bay Times Marc Topkin who tweeted the news. Topkin indicates that Romero was out of options and was in danger of being DFA’d.

The trade creates an opening on the 40-man roster, which will go to Logan Morrison, who’s signing was made official earlier today by the Rays.

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