Catcher Francisco Mejia, whom the Rays designated for task final week, has accepted an outright task to Triple-A Durham after clearing waivers and can stay with the group, reports Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Occasions. As a participant with greater than 5 years of service time, Mejia may’ve rejected that task in favor of free company and nonetheless retained the rest of this 12 months’s $2.2MM wage, however he’ll choose to stay with the Rays and hope for a name again to the large leagues. If he’s not added again to the 40-man roster between now and season’s finish, Mejia can turn out to be a free agent to start the offseason.
Mejia, 27, was as soon as thought to be one of many high prospects in all of baseball however has not but seen his offense within the huge leagues match his prodigious output within the higher minors. The switch-hitter is a .304/.348/.507 hitter in components of three Triple-A seasons, however the former San Diego and Cleveland farmhand has produced only a .239/.284/.394 batting line in 1098 plate appearances between his three organizations. Cleveland flipped him to San Diego as a part of the 2018 Brad Hand commerce, whereas the Friars despatched him to Tampa Bay as a part of 2020’s Blake Snell commerce.
Whereas Mejia confirmed some promise in 2021, hitting .260/.322/.416 in his first season with the Rays, he’s batted .237/.262/.387 in 143 video games since that point. He’s commonly drawn below-average framing grades, and this 12 months he’s thwarted simply 4 of the 42 stolen base makes an attempt towards him. Relationship again to the 2018 season, Statcast also grades him 61st of 75 certified catchers by way of pitch blocking (-14 blocks above common).
With Mejia now off the 40-man roster (however nonetheless within the group), the Rays are going with the light-hitting however defensively superior tandem of Rene Pinto and Christian Bethancourt behind the plate. Mejia will now be the first fallback choice for that pair, and with rosters set to develop to twenty-eight gamers on Sept. 1, it may very well be simpler to get him again on the large league roster if the group needs to take action.