Rays designate Sean Rodriguez for assignment

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After five seasons in Tampa Bay utility man Sean Rodriguez has been designated for assignment by the Rays.

Rodriguez was projected to make around $2 million via arbitration, but the Rays decided to move on after the 29-year-old hit .211 with 12 homers and a .701 OPS in 96 games this season.

Rodriguez has played at least 300 career innings at second base, shortstop, third base, left field, and first base, but he never developed as much as hoped offensively on the way to a lifetime .225 batting average and .670 OPS.

Rays’ Erik Neander named Executive of the Year

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At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.

Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.

The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.

At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).