The Rays made a couple of roster moves today. They have exercised their option on closer Al Reyes and declined the option on 1B/DH Greg Norton. The Rays also reinstated outfielder Rocco Baldelli, shortstop Ben Zobrist, and catcher Sean Riggans. The Rays had until Thursday to pick up or decline the options on Reyes and Norton, but wasted no time.
Reyes was a fantastic gamble by the Rays during the off season last year and keeping him was an obvious choice. Reyes will still be the Rays closer at the moment, but they may make some moves in the off season, which would move him to the set up role he excelled in when he was with St. Louis. Reyes did struggle at the end of the season after being lights out in the first half, which could be a concern for the Rays, but those struggles could be due to not getting consistent pitching time, his injury, or because he had missed the previous year with an injury. Whatever the struggles were from, picking up his option was a no brainer.
Releasing Norton cam as no surprise either. The team is full of young talent that can play the DH position and Norton was not playing well when he did get a chance. The best thing he did as a Ray was get hurt in last Spring training, which allowed Carlos Pena to have the first base job. Thank You Norty.
The other moves were just to put guys back on the roster. Zobrist could be cut and let go in my opinion. he was terrible with the bat and is not a great defensive shortstop. Baldelli says he is healthy and the Rays will hope that is true once again. With the Rays releasing Josh Paul earlier, Sean Riggans becomes the back up catcher for the Rays.