Rays left-hander Jake McGee will undergo knee surgery that will sideline up for six to eight weeks, tweets Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. While Topkin doesn’t specifically state this, it would seem that the surgery will bring what was already an injury-shortened season to an end for Tampa Bay’s standout lefty.
McGee, 29, began the season on the disabled list as he recovered from offseason elbow surgery and wasn’t activated until May 14. The 35 innings totaled by McGee in 2015 were characteristically excellent, as he notched a 2.57 ERA with a 48-to-7 K/BB ratio. Both left-handed and right-handed hitters posted OPS marks well below .600 against McGee. Those stellar numbers come on the heels of a 2014 campaign that saw McGee deliver 71 1/3 innings of a 1.89 ERA with 90 strikeouts against 16 walks.
McGee will be arbitration-eligible for the second time this winter, and though his season was shortened by injury, that dominant performance will still net him a raise on his $3.55MM salary. That raise won’t necessarily take him above and beyond the Rays’ price range, but for a team with a perennially modest payroll, it could potentially still be concerning. Tampa Bay already has $29.8MM committed to four players next season before considering arbitration raises to McGee, Alex Cobb (though his arb price should be identical to last season’s $4MM after not pitching in 2015), Desmond Jennings, Drew Smyly, Daniel Nava and Logan Forsythe, among others. The Rays entered the season with a $75MM payroll — their second straight season in that range.