German Marquez delivers in the FSL playoffs. (Photo: Jim Donten)
The Tampa Bay Rays picked up outfielder Corey Dickerson and infielder Kevin Padlo from the Colorado Rockies in exchange for former Stone Crabs Jake McGee and German Marquez on Thursday.
The left handed McGee was a key member of the Rays bullpen this season, exchanging time with Brad Boxberger as the team’s closer. He was drafted by the Rays in the fifth round of the 2004 draft. He spent 11 games with the Stone Crabs in 2009 and return for a couple rehab games last season.
Marquez was a member of the starting rotation for the Stone Crabs last season. Despite being 7-13 on the season, Marquez came up big in the FSL Divisional Series, lifting the Stone Crabs to victory and sending them into the league championship.
In exchange for the Stone Crabs alumni, the Rays got Dickerson who is a has three years of MLB experience and Padlo a lower level third baseman who spent 2015 split between short-season A and low-A.
Braulio Lara pitching for the Stone Crabs in 2012. (Photo: Jim Donten)
Former Stone Crabs pitcher Braulio Lara has received a non-roster invite to Major League spring training with the San Francisco Giants. This will be Lara’s second trip to big league camp in Scottsdale after getting an invite last season as well.
Lara was signed by the Tampa Bay Rays in 2008. He spent the first seven years in the Rays orgaization reaching as high as Triple-A Durham. He was signed by the Giants to a minor league contract following the 2014 season and he spent 2015 split between the Double-A Richmond Flying Squirrels and Triple-A Sacramento River Cats.
Lara pitched in 25 games for the Stone Crabs in 2012.
Nevin Ashley behind the plate for the Stone Crabs during the inaugural opening day game. (Photo: Jim Donten)
The New York Mets have signed former Stone Crab Nevin Ashley to a minor league contract on January 15. The Mets will be the fifth organization that the catcher has played for during his ten year career.
Ashley was drafted by the Rays in the sixth round of the 2006 draft from Indiana State University. He spent his first seven seasons in the Rays organization, reaching Triple-A Durham. He then spent time with the Reds, Pirates and Brewers minor league clubs. He would eventually make his major league debut with the Brewers where he doubled in his first major league at-bat.
Ashley was the Stone Crabs catcher during the inaugural season in 2009.
Tyler Bortnick (Photo: Jim Donten)
Former Stone Crabs second baseman Tyler Bortnick will be adding another chapter to his professional baseball story as he signed a minor league contract with the Detroit Tigers. This will be the fourth club that Bortnick has played for during his professional career.
Bortnick was drafted by the Rays in the sixteenth round of the 2009 draft out of Coastal Carolina. He was with the Rays organization through 2012 when he was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks on June 12. Bortnick remained with the Diamondbacks organization until being released prior to the start of the 2015 season. After a brief stint in the independent leagues, Bortnick was signed by the Seattle Mariners where he would play until the end of the season.
Bortnick was a member of the Stone Crabs for twelve games to conclude the 2010 season and returned to Charlotte for the entire 2011 season where he was named an FSL All-Star.
During the off-season, Bortnick has been playing for the Sydney Blue Sox in the Australian Baseball League.
Michael Johns returns at the Stone Crabs manager in 2016. (Photo: Jim Donten)
The Tampa Bay Rays have released their minor league field staff for the 2016 season and the Stone Crabs staff remains unchanged. Michael Johns will lead the club with Joe Szekely as the hitting coach and Steve Watson as the pitching coach. Scott Thurston also returns as the team trainer.
Johns returns to the helm for his second season in Port Charlotte after leading the team to their first league championship in franchise history last year. He is in his ninth season in the Rays organization.
Szekely is the only member of the staff to have been with the Stone Crabs since day one , joining the Stone Crabs for the inaugural season in 2009. He has been a member of the Rays coaching staff for the past twelve years.
Watson and Thurston are both entering their fifth season with the Stone Crabs.
The 2016 season kicks off April 7th on the road in Palm Beach.
Leonardo Reginatto takes a cut with the Stone Crabs in 2014. (Photo: Jim Donten)
Three former Stone Crabs will be playing for new organizations in 2016 as Matt Bush, Brandon Gomes and Leonardo Reginatto have signed minor league contracts with new teams.
Bush was signed by the Texas Rangers. He battled injuries with the Stone Crabs in 2010 where he appeared in only six games from the Stone Crabs bullpen. Bush had not played since 2011 after being arrested for DUI.
Gomes will be reunited with former Rays manager Joe Maddon in Chicago after being signed by the Chicago Cubs. Gomes did an MLB rehab appearance with the Stone Crabs in 2013 where he appeared in four games for Charlotte.
Reginatto was signed by the Minnesota Twins organization. Reginatto split the 2015 season with the Biscuits and Bulls, hitting a combined .269 in 100 games. He was with the Stone Crabs for 94 games in 2014 where was named a Florida State League All-Star.