July 21, 2024

The Rays announced the recall of right-hander Edwin Uceta from Triple-A Durham. In a simultaneous move, fellow righty Chris Devenski was designated for assignment, bringing their roster down to 39 players from 40. Prior to the official release, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times relayed information about X.

Devenski, 33, has had an up-and-down career but appeared to be in good shape with the Rays last season. After being released by the Angels, he signed with Tampa at the end of August and finished 2023 with a 2.08 ERA in nine Rays outings. That was enough for the Rays to re-sign him for 2024, as the two sides agreed to a one-year contract with a $1.1 million guarantee, consisting of a $1 million salary and a club option for 2025 with a $100,000 buyout.

 

Unfortunately, Devenski has not been able to carry those results into this year. He has been working a multi-inning job out of Tampa’s bullpen this season, pitching 26 2/3 innings in 19 appearances while allowing 6.75 earned runs per nine. His 19.7% strikeout percentage, 11.5% walk rate, and 25% ground ball rate have all been below average.

 

James Shields throws out first pitch on Rays Opening Day 2023

 

 

 

The righty is a veteran with more than five years of major league experience, thus he cannot be optioned to the minors without his approval. Based on his terrible overall performance and the fact that he threw 43 pitches last night while recording only two outs, the Rays decided they could make better use of his roster position and had to remove him from the 40-man roster outright.

The Rays will now have a week to trade him or place him on waivers, but no club is likely to be interested because acquiring Devenski would require taking on the remainder of his contract plus the buyout on that option. Because he has enough service time to refuse an outright assignment, he should become a free agency within the following week.

He may generate more attention at that point, as the Rays would still be on the hook for what’s left of his contract, but any other club could sign him and merely pay him the prorated version of the league minimum for any time spent on the roster.

Devenski had a successful start to his career but has suffered in recent years. In 2016 and 2017, he pitched 189 innings with the Astros, posting a 2.35 ERA, 28.2% strikeout rate, and 6.4% walk rate. His performance dipped in the following seasons, and he missed a significant amount of time due to injuries, including Tommy John surgery. He has a 5.42 ERA since the start of 2018, and a 6.46 ERA since the beginning of 2020.

He was in good shape up until last year. Between the Angels and Rays, he had a 4.46 ERA, 24.3% strikeout rate, and 6.4% walk rate. The Rays were willing to take a chance on that comeback, but it didn’t pan out. Given the league’s recent pitching injuries, perhaps another team will take a low-risk shot on him in the coming weeks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *