Tuesday, January 6, 2015

What's Happened to the 2014 Durham Bulls?

If you follow the Tampa Bay Rays, then you know it’s chaos down in St. Petersburg. Some writers are going so far as to say that the Rays have already written off 2015 as they build to 2016.

Consequently, we Bulls fans, still mourning the loss of our manager and pitching coach, have no idea what to expect next year. What we can do, however, just to keep a hand in, is take a look at the guys we had last year and see what we know about them.

To be perfectly honest, I haven’t been keeping track all that closely, but here’s what I’ve heard about the guys that saw significant amounts of playing time last year. Players who are on the Rays 40-man roster can be expected to show up in Durham if they don’t stick with the Rays out of spring training (or get traded/sold/released/discarded/dumped/cashiered before then.

Notice how many pitchers are still around and how few position players. That emphasizes our comments over the last couple of years that the Rays aren't growing position players (and we don't get to see them).

If a reader has any further information, jump in.

For information on what these guys did for the Bulls in 2014 check out this link for the hitters and this one for the pitchers.
  • Mikie Mahtook - on 40-man roster
  • Justin Christian - ???? Free Agent
  • Vince Belnome - Taken off 40-man and apparently has accepted minor league contract.
  • Wilson Betemit - Assume he is now a free agent. Has not had a particularly good winter down in the Dominican. Free Agent
  • Mike Fontenot - Free agent (can't believe I left him off original list!)
  • Ray Olmedo - Also likely a Free Agent. Playing a lot of ball this winter down in Venezuela (104 games so far).
  • Hak-Ju Lee - on 40-man roster. However, the Rays have been making a lot of infield-related moves that imply they don’t they he’s ready to move up. I think Bulls fans would agree.
  • Ali Solis - No longer on 40-man. Playing winter ball in Mexico. [11 Jan: Signed by LA Dodgers]
  • Cole Figueroa - Off to the Yankees system. With great regret from our perspective. Bet we see him back in Durham in a Rail Riders uniform.
  • Robby Price - Released. [Update: Has taken a coaching job at Virginia Tech]
  • Jeremy Moore - No news that I’ve seen. Free Agent
  • Jerry Sands - Now a free agent
  • Curt Casali - on 40-man
  • Nick Franklin - on 40-man
  • Tim Beckham - on 40-man
  • Mayo Acosta - Free Agent. Signed by Rays (probable invitation to Spring Training)
  • Matt Andriese - on 40-man
  • Nathan Karns - on 40-man
  • Mike Montgomery - on 40-man
  • Enny Romero - on 40-man
  • Merrill Kelly - to pitch in Korea next year
  • Alex Colome - on 40-man
  • Doug Mathis - ???? Free Agent
  • Adam Liberatore - Traded to LA Dodgers
  • C.J. Riefenhauser - on 40-man
  • Steve Geltz - on 40-man
  • Josh Lueke - free agent
  • Brandon Gomes - minor league contract with Rays
  • Jeff Beliveau - on 40-man
  • Jake Thompson - Pretty sure he is still under contract to Rays
  • Kirby Yates - on 40-man
[Updates in italics]
[7 Jan: More updates]
[9 Jan: Solis update]
[18 Jan: Acosta added to list.]


  1. Thanks to Snorting Bull on info about Robby Price. And I left Mike Fontenot off my list! Sorry, Mike!

  2. The last info I can find (from baseball-reference.com) on Justin Christian, Jeremy Moore, and Doug Mathis is that they were all granted free agency on 11/4.

  3. That tracks with info on the Baseball America site. I've updated to show Betemit, Christian, Mathis, Moore, and Olmedo as free agents.