The Tampa Bay Rays chose not to tender outfielder Sam Fuld and reliever Wesley Wright before Monday’s deadline, making them free agents. The team also announced it signed catcher Jose Molina to a two-year, $4.5 million deal.
In addition, the Rays tendered contracts to their other arbitration-eligible players: left-hander David Price, right-hander Jeremy Hellickson, catcher Jose Lobaton, outfielder Matt Joyce, infielder/outfielder Sean Rodriguez and relievers Jake McGee and Cesar Ramos.
Fuld, 32, joined the Rays before the 2011 campaign after spending three seasons with the Chicago Cubs. He hit .230 with five home runs and 49 RBI during the regular season in his time with Tampa Bay.
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Affectionately known as “Super Sam” Fuld, he was known for his versatility and quality clubhouse presence. He hit .199 with two home runs and 17 RBI in 176 at-bats last season.
Wright, 28, was claimed off waivers from the Houston Astros on Aug. 12 to bolster the Rays’ bullpen. A six-year veteran, he has a career 4.37 ERA in 251 1/3 innings. He had a 3.69 ERA in 53 2/3 innings last season in time split between Houston and Tampa Bay.
Because they were not tendered, Fuld and Wright are free to sign with any team.
Molina, meanwhile, is a 14-year major-league veteran who started a career-high 87 games at catcher last season. He batted .233 with two home runs and 18 RBI. He had declared free agency before he was re-signed, and his return means he will continue to serve a mentor role of sorts for Lobaton, who emerged last season while hitting a career-best .249 with seven home runs and 32 RBI.