The Rays are beginning to shape their roster for the 2021 season.
The Rays re-signed catcher Mike Zunino to a two-year contract and announced the signing of pitcher Michael Wacha to a one year contract.
Wacha signed a one year 3 million dollar contract and will join a rotation of Glasnow, Snell, Fleming, and Yarbrough.
Wacha has spent most of his career with the St. Louis Cardinals but spent the 2020 season with the New York Mets.
Wacha struggled in the big apple going 1-4 with a 6.62 ERA with 37 strikeouts in 34 innings.
Wacha allowed nine home runs in his 34 innings pitched, which equates to one home run allowed for every three innings pitched.
Wacha had a ton of success with the St. Louis Cardinals going 59-32 with a 4.01 ERA. Wacha was an All-Star in 2013 and was the MVP of the NLCS in 2015.
The Rays needed to fill the role left by Charlie Morton when he signed with Atlanta. The Rays will also not have Yonny Chirinos and Jalen Beeks for most of the 2021 season.
The Rays needed more depth, and they have started to add that depth with the signing of Wacha.
The Rays have a knack for picking up those guys that have struggled the past season or two that have high reward and low risk.
Rays GM Erik Neander spoke about that in a call with the media on Friday, “We have a lot of confidence in our pitching program, and it’s not one particular type or style of pitcher. Frankly, I think more than anything. I think it’s the care, it’s the human touch that they invest in every pitcher to help them get them the most out of themselves that drives it.”
The Rays have also expressed interest in two players that called Tampa home in the past, pitchers Chris Archer and Ryne Stanek.
Archer went to the Pirates in the deal that netted them Tyler Glasnow and Austin Meadows.
In two tears with Pittsburgh, Archer went 6-12, giving up 100 runs in 171 innings. Archer missed the 2020 season as he recuperated from surgery to correct the symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome.
The Pirates did not pick up his $11 million option for the 2021 season.
Stanek was sent to Miami in the deal that brought the Rays, Nick Anderson. Stanek was one of the first pitchers that the Rays used as an opener in 2018 and 2019.
Stanek had a 3.17 ERA with the Rays and averaged ten strikeouts per nine innings.
He could never duplicate his success in Miami and was not offered a contract for 2021.