Only One Small Delay Should Slow Bauers Debut
After Sunday’s debacle in Boston the Tampa Bay Rays placed infielder Brad Miller on the disabled list with a groin injury. The immediate roster move was to select another arm to add to the bullpen. To fill that need right hander Ryan Weber was selected to take his place. By adding Weber, the Rays 40-man roster is currently full at 40 (Rays Roster Here).
Weber, 27, signed as a minor league free agent with the Rays over the winter. He appeared in one game (start) with the Seattle Mariners last season departing with a bicep injury that cost him the remainder of the season. He was promoted after a solid start in Triple-A Tacoma posting a 0.85 ERA and a 0.77 WHIP over 31.2-IP spanning six appearances (5-starts).
His, or another reliever’s, stay on the roster should be short lived as the Rays will add a position player to replace Miller. That player should be Jake Bauers, but it might have to wait until after this weekends games.
When To Promote Bauers:
Here’s to hoping the Rays don’t slow walk first baseman Jake Bauers. In other words, there is no reason to hold him in the minors until June for financial reasons (Super 2). Usually a player such as Bauers, who is a top prospect, is held down in the minors with the team stating “more seasoning” as the reason.
Real reason, team doesn’t want to lose a year of service time (see below) or risk paying player more in extra year of arbitration.
Rules To Keep In Mind:
The pool of players that are Super 2 eligible starts with players between two and three years of service time. The top 22-percent of this group is given a fourth year of arbitration. The non-Super 2 players enter the following season making major league minimum while Super 2 players see a modest boost in pay and generally higher payouts during the arbitration process.
Player must spend ~16-days in minor leagues. A player earns a year of service time for each 172 days on a MLB roster. It may be a little confusing here. If a player spends a full season on a MLB roster (187 days) the service time is still capped at 172 days. In the case of a prospect, the idea would be to hold the player down for at least 15 days of the season. This would allow the club to promote the player, maintain control for the rest of the first season, and still have control for six more seasons before player is eligible for free agency.
Bauers Promotion Probably Delayed A Bit:
The Rays should not contend that Bauer’s needs more seasoning. Despite being just 22-years old, he has already finished a full season of Triple-A. Last year with the Durham Bulls he appeared in 132 games and batted .263/.368/.412 with 13 homers and 20 stolen bases. He’s played in 557 minor league games and hit .276/.361/.413 spanning 2,358 plate appearances. While he hasn’t overwhelmed in his minor league career, his next challenge should be adapting to MLB pitching.
The Rays should not worry about Super-2. This past-season’s labor disagreement centering about free agency is going to bring changes to the game under the next Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). Namely, how soon players can get to the market. Reading the tea leaves suggest that the Super-2/arbitration system may be the one area that is immediately changed. There will also be a change in how many years of service a player needs until free agency.
The Rays should promote Bauers a short time after April 14th. After that date, they would be able to maximize their control of the player (whether the CBA changes or not). It would be nice to see him in the Rays lineup against the Texas Rangers on April 16th at Tropicana Field.