FEB 22: This deal is official, per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times (via Twitter), as if their deal with Collin McHugh. The Rays announced that Yonny Chirinos and Oliver Drake have been placed on the 60-day injured list to open up roster space for Roe and McHugh.
FEB 21: The Rays are in agreement on a contract with reliever Chaz Roe, reports Robert Murray of FanSided (Twitter link). The 34-year-old returns to the Tampa Bay organization for a fifth consecutive season. It’s a one-year, major league contract, reports Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter link). The Apex Baseball client is guaranteed $1.15MM, per Topkin.
Roe has found a decent amount of success with the Rays over the past few years. Thanks to a wipeout slider he uses well over half the time, the right-hander has never had any trouble racking up punchouts. Over the past three seasons, Roe has pitched to a 3.74 ERA with a strong 27% strikeout rate. He has run into some trouble with walks but generally been a solid bullpen piece for manager Kevin Cash.
The Rays waived Roe off the 40-man roster after some concerning developments last season. Roe’s average fastball velocity was down a tick relative to past years, while he generated swings and misses at a career-worst 8.8% clip (against a league average 11.8% swinging strike rate for relievers). Most concerning, his season was cut short by elbow soreness after just 9.1 innings, as Roe didn’t pitch after August 19.
Nevertheless, the Rays are sufficiently satisfied Roe’s health woes are behind him at this point. The veteran threw in front of teams last weekend and apparently impressed Tampa Bay brass enough to bring him back into the fold with a guaranteed roster spot.