8:44PM: Ryan LaMarre has also been released after exercising his own opt-out clause, Topkin reports (Twitter link). The outfielder has hit .236/.286/.338 over 246 PA in five Major League seasons, with the bulk (180 PA) of that playing time coming with the Twins and White Sox in 2018. LaMarre inked a minors deal with Tampa after being let go by Minnesota last fall.
5:54PM: Catcher Chris Herrmann has requested his release from the Rays after enacting the opt-out clause in his minor league deal with the club, the Tampa Bay Times’ Marc Topkin reports (Twitter link). Herrmann signed the club back in January.
Mike Zunino is slated to be the Rays’ starting catcher, with Michael Perez in line for backup duty and Kevan Smith and Ronaldo Hernandez also part of the 60-man player pool. It is clear that Herrmann didn’t like his chances of moving up the depth chart, and will now seek out a better opportunity elsewhere. Speculatively, the Pirates and Giants stand out as obvious potential landing spots — the Bucs just lost Luke Maile to a season-ending finger injury, while Buster Posey’s decision to sit out the 2020 season has left San Francisco without a starting catcher.
Though Herrmann has at times flashed some hitting potential over his eight MLB seasons, he has been a below-average offensive producer overall, with a career .205/.282/.344 slash line and 25 home runs over 992 career plate appearances. The bulk of that playing time came with the Twins and Diamondbacks from 2012-17, though Herrmann hit well in 87 PA with the Mariners in 2018 before suffering through an injury-plagued 2019 campaign in Oakland. Herrmann’s ability to play first base and both corner outfield spots gives him more of a versatile resume than your average backup catcher, which could help his chances of catching on with a new team.