Tampa Bay Rays Add Alex Cobb, Albert Suarez, Dane De La Rosa, and Nevin Ashley to 40-Man Roster

Released Jose Julio Ruiz

The more expensive of the two Cuban first basemen, Ruiz’s option was worth $4 million. He showed some ability to get on base in Montgomery, but no power. The Leslie Anderson discussion from a few weeks ago applies to Ruiz as well. Saving the money could prove fruitful in this free agent market – assuming the money is returned to the major league portion of the budget.

Added Dane De La Rosa, Alex Cobb, Albert Suarez, and Nevin Ashley to the 40-man roster

All of these moves were made to prevent Rule 5 eligibility.

De La Rosa is a right-handed reliever the Rays plucked from the Atlantic League. His 2010 statistics include 76 innings, 80 strikeouts, and 21 unintentional walks. Ben Badler described him as a “Very good sleeper” with a “Fastball up to 94” and his curveball “flashes plus”. He spent most of 2010 in Montgomery and he turns 28 in February. A big guy (six-six), consider him an opening day bullpen option who can get some groundballs.

Cobb was discussed here. He’s only added to his status by dominating the Arizona Fall League. I consider him one of the two or three best right-handed starting pitching prospects in the system, with only Jeremy Hellickson clearly ahead of him.

Suarez is another right-handed starting pitching prospect. He spent most of 2009 recovering from Tommy John surgery and returned in 2010 to throw in 14 games. He was within the 18-month recovery window, which means the numbers – while underwhelming – should be approached with some levity. His breaking stuff still needs polish, but his fastball has sink to it and can touch the mid-90s.

Ashley isn’t much. His defensive tools draw rave reviews, what with a strong (and accurate) arm and good pop times. His bat sinks most of that defensive value, though, as he’s yet to show a semblance of power despite being older than most of his league mates. Dioner Navaro’s pending departure from the system would leave the Rays with three catchers on the 40-man roster (John Jaso, Kelly Shoppach, and Jose Lobaton) and Ashley was the next in line (with Lobaton’s injury, he was actually the next in line for a playoff spot after Navarro departed from the team).

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