The AL East was as least as they have been in years in 2014. The O’s won the division while the defending World Champs finish last. The Yankees got old way to quick before our eyes and the Rays were decimated by injuries to their starting staff. This early off-season the AL East is returning back to normalcy. The Red Sox are making it rain spending 8 years of Rays payroll on two All Stars from the NL West. The Rays on the other hand are back to looking on the waiver wire and the scrap heap for help.
The Rays have sent Hellickson and Molina packing, but that was expected. What many fans didn’t expect is to see Sean Rodriguez packing as well, as he was DFA’d. Sean Rod came over in the Kazmir deal in August of 2009. He has been very handy for the Rays filling in where ever the Rays needed him to play. He was a player that the Rays fans either loved because he was a dirtbag who always hustled or they hated him because they expected more from him and wanted him to be an everyday player. He was the poster boy for Rays baseball a super utility player who would do anything he was asked. Normally a player like Rodriguez would be he 25th man on the roster playing sparingly as a pinch runner, punch hitter or a defensive replacement. With the Rays he was a guy who would have to walk to the ballpark and double-check the lineup to see what he was going to be asked to do that day. He would be buried for weeks with maybe three AB’s a week, then start everyday for a the next two weeks. He never belly ached or whined and was always the first one-off the bench for a bench clearing shoving match. He was a good teammate.
Problem for Rodriguez is that he is one year away from free agency and in his last year of salary arbitration. He made 1.4 million last year and that figured had to go up. For a team that is always frugal role players making 2 million a year just don’t make sense. The Rays will have to find more Sean Rod’s out there this off-season that make less that what he did. Trouble will be finding one as good a “RAY” as Sean Rod was.