Friday, February 12, 2010

Minor Moves and Spring Training Invites

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - The Tampa Bay Rays have signed infielders Angel Chavez and J.J. Furmaniak to minor league contracts with an invitation to major league spring training. In addition, the Rays invited four minor leaguers from the organization to major league spring training: catcher Craig Albernaz, catcher Nevin Ashley, infielder Tim Beckham and right-handed pitcher Heath Rollins.

Chavez, 28, played third base for the Pawtucket Red Sox (AAA) in 2009 and set a franchise record with a .965 fielding percentage. The utilityman played in 10 games for the San Francisco Giants in 2005, his lone major league experience. He played for Panama in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, and this past winter, played for Mochis in the Mexican Winter League.

Furmaniak (fer-MAIN-ee-ack), 30, spent the 2009 season with Lehigh Valley (AAA) in the Philadelphia Phillies organization. The nine-year minor league veteran has played parts of two seasons in the major leagues with the Pittsburgh Pirates (2005) and Oakland Athletics (2007), appearing in 29 games total. He has played mostly shortstop over his 10-year professional career, but has also seen extensive action at second base and third base and appeared in left and center field.

Rollins, 24, will be attending his first major league spring training. Albernaz, Ashley and Beckham were all non-roster invites in 2009 and will be attending big league camp for the second time.

-- From the team press release.


  1. He's a Furmaniak, maniak on the floor
    And he's dancing like he's never danced before.

  2. And do they need another 3rd baseman?

  3. So happy to see Heath Rollins was invited to big league camp. I'm assuming as a reliever? Good Luck, Heath!

  4. We were bound to get furries around here sooner or later. I'm not even going near DRB for a while.

    @anon1 - Yep, no Matt Spring, so far.

    @anon2 - They both play multiple positions, looks like AAA depth mostly.

    @anon3 - Agreed, good for Heath! The Rays said last summer that he would be a reliever from now on. Kind of disappointing since he was a workhorse as a starter, but if it helps him get to the bigs sooner, then so be it.