The Rays have claimed right-hander Oliver Drake off waivers from the Twins, per an announcement from the Twins Additionally, Tampa Bay has outrighted catchers Jesus Sucre and Adam Moore off the 40-man roster, per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter link). The Rays’ 40-man roster is now at 37 players, while the Twins’ is at 36.
The 31-year-old Drake looked as though he may have finally found a home with the Twins late in the 2018 season. Minnesota, incredibly, was the fifth Major League team for which the Naval Academy product suited up in 2018 and the only team with which he found real success. In 20 1/3 innings out of the Minnesota ’pen, Drake worked to a 2.21 ERA with an impressive 22-to-7 K/BB ratio and a 50 percent ground-ball rate.
Beyond the five teams with which he saw MLB action in 2018 (Twins, Blue Jays, Angels, Indians, Brewers), Drake came up with the Orioles back in 2016. In all, he’s seen time with six Major League clubs over the past two seasons. Tampa Bay, if Drake survives the offseason on the 40-man roster, would be a seventh. Drake is out of minor league options, so he’ll need to break camp with the Rays (or another club) next spring or else be exposed to waivers yet again. While his overall results in the big leagues aren’t impressive, the fact that six different teams have tried to pass him through waivers and all have failed speaks to the fact that many clubs believe him to be capable of succeeding in the Majors.
Sucre, 30, appeared in 73 games with the Rays this past season and hit .209/.247/.253 through 198 plate appearances — numbers not far off from his career rates through 654 PAs. With more than three years of big league service time, he has the right to reject an outright assignment in favor of free agency.
Moore, 34, went 4-for-18 in eight games with the Rays. He’s seen Major League action in parts of nine seasons and batted .199/.239/.312 in 312 plate appearances. The journeyman backstop has a lifetime .266/.325/.408 line in more than 2400 Triple-A plate appearances.