The Rays announced today that catcher Bobby Wilson has cleared outright waivers, and Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times tweets that Wilson will, unsurprisingly, elect free agency. Per Topkin, Wilson expressed some disappointment over the decision, as he had hoped to remain with the Rays, but he said the “door’s still open” when it comes to a potential reunion.
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However, Topkin opines that Wilson could find a big league deal on the open market this winter. The veteran 33-year-old (34 in April), logged 251 plate appearances between the Rays, Rangers and Tigers in 2016, hitting .237/.270/.355 with a career-high seven homers. Those numbers, paired with just a 17 percent caught-stealing rate and average pitch-framing numbers could make it difficult for Wilson to find a guaranteed 40-man spot elsewhere this winter. Wilson, a career .214/.268/.319 hitter in 849 plate appearances, will compete with the likes of Alex Avila, Drew Butera, Hank Conger, A.J. Ellis, Ryan Hanigan, Jeff Mathis and Kurt Suzuki, among others, in the lower tiers of the free-agent market for catchers as he seeks out his next contract.