B.J. Upton was reportedly claimed off revocable waivers by an undisclosed team, but it’s a moot point now because the 48-hour window for the Rays to make a deal has passed.
Tampa Bay pulled him back off waivers, meaning Upton is ineligible to be traded this season. He’s under team control for next season via arbitration and it likely makes more sense for the Rays to shop him around again once their options aren’t limited.
Several teams have been linked to Upton, with the Nationals perhaps being connected to him most often dating back to the July 31 trade deadline.
With Desmond Jennings waiting in the wings as a replacement in center field and Upton set to earn at least $6 million in 2012 despite another disappointing season he seemingly doesn’t fit into the Rays’ always budget-conscious plans any longer.
Remember Manny Banuelos? He was once a top pitching prospect for the Yankees and then, apparently disappeared from the face of the earth. Or at least it felt like it. Now he’s in the news, however, as the Dodgers have signed him to a minor league contract.
OK, Banuelos didn’t disappear. He was traded to the Braves in 2015, had a cup of coffee with them, pitching pretty ineffectively in seven big league games, was released by Atlanta in the middle of 2016 and then latched on with the Angels. This past season he posted a 4.93 ERA over 95 innings while being used mostly as a reliever at Triple-A Salt Lake.
Banuelos pitched in the Future’s Game in 2009 and was a star in the Arizona Fall League in 2010. He was a top-50 prospect heading into 2011 before falling to Tommy John surgery in 2012. With Atlanta he suffered some bone spur problems and then some elbow issues that never resulted in surgery but which never subsided enough for him to fulfill his potential either. He suffered injuries. A lot of pitchers do.
It’s unrealistic to think that Banuelos will fulfill the promise he had six years ago, but he’s worth a minor league deal to see if the 26-year-old can at least be a serviceable reliever.