The Rays have designated right-handed reliever Heath Hembree for assignment and selected the contract of fellow righty reliever Zack Burdi from Triple-A Durham in his place, reports Kristie Ackert of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter link).
Hembree’s stint with the Rays will last just one day, though it was a good one. He pitched 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief yesterday, yielding a walk but punching out two hitters in the process. The Rays are habitually aggressive with turnover at the back of their roster, however, and they’ll jettison the veteran Hembree from the roster in order to get a fresh arm into the ’pen on a day where they’ll likely lean heavily on their relief corps. Tampa Bay is set to give righty Calvin Faucher his third start of the year today, but they’re in the process of stretching him out at the Major League level. He’s yet to complete three innings in an appearance this season and hasn’t topped 46 pitches.
The 34-year-old Hembree was a fixture in the Boston bullpen from 2015-20 but has struggled since being traded to the Phillies in 2020. From 2020-22, he pitched to a 6.64 ERA, maintaining a strong 27.3% strikeout rate but yielding far too many walks (11.1%) and home runs (2.45 HR/9). The Rays will have a week to trade Hembree, attempt to pass him through outright waivers, or release him. He has enough service to reject an outright assignment to the minors.
Burdi, 28, is a former first-round pick whose career has been derailed by injuries, most notably Tommy John surgery in 2018 and a torn patellar tendon in 2019. The former Louisville standout has been tagged for 15 earned runs in just 17 1/3 Major League frames.
Burdi has had more success in the minors but still has a spotty track record in Triple-A, where he carries a 4.81 ERA in 86 innings of work. He’s fanned 32.5% of his opponents at the top minor league level, thanks in part to a blistering fastball, but Burdi has also issued walks at an untenable 13.5% clip. That includes seven walks (one intentional) in just eight innings this year, during which he’s been charged with six earned runs.
Any contract nerd know how minor league/split contracts for guys like Hembree work? I.e. being he is a veteran, got called up and has to be dfa’d off the major league roster, do they Rays owe him a prorated mlb minimum for the rest of the season if he isn’t picked up by another team?
When you are added to a Major League roster, your contract becomes GUARANTEED and when you’re cut, they owe you the balance of your contract.
so the rays owe heath like 500k? is that how it works?
If that’s the balance of his contract, I believe yes. But I’m guessing the Rays will find a TRADE partner for Hembree and let the new team pay him.
Or it’s worked out and he’ll stay in the organization.
Fever Pitch Guy
Cubs – I can’t wait until they implement the new rule that would help put a stop to the constant relief pitcher roster shuffling, what Tampa and Boston are doing is an insult to the game. It’s like when companies ” temporarily hire” good softball or basketball players for just a game or two.
humphrey x boegarts
Worked out for Mr Burns
Not a bad days work then.
Only MLB deals are guaranteed. If a minor league contract is selected the player only makes the prorated amount based on roster time.
Vince Ferragamo's Dog