Rays are aligned with the left hand. Brendan McKay On a two-year minor league deal, Mark Tokin of the Tampa Bay Times reports (Twitter link). Tampa Bay agreed to terms with the catcher on traditional one-year minor league deals. Nick Dini and sedation Colton Beer.
McKay is a former fourth overall pick who spent his entire career with the Rays. A two-way all-star in college, he focused more on pitching professionally. An excellent strike-thrower, he moved quickly through the minor leagues and peaked in 2019. McKay started 11 of 13 games in his rookie season, posting a promising strikeout and walking 49 innings.
Unfortunately, he hasn’t been able to throw a single major league pitch in the four years since. He missed the 2020 season with a shoulder problem that eventually required surgery. The recovery of that process kept him out of action until the end of June 2021. Just a few outings into the minor league rehab season, McKay suffered a sprain in his arm that would again be season-ending. He was then diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome and underwent surgery to correct it That’s what he said. Last November’s issue.
McKay spent most of 2022 on the injured list recovering from a TOS procedure. He began a rehab assignment in mid-July and spent his allotted 30-day window returning to Triple-A. The Rays brought McKay back from IL on a regular basis but kept him in Durham on an option assignment. A few days later, he suffered a UCL injury while playing against the Bulls. Tampa Bay announced in September that he would need Tommy John surgery, an injury that will cost him the entire 2023 season.
Later this year, the Rays removed McCain from the 40-man roster. They released the minor league service system the following week. He has spent 6 seasons in the minors and will hit seventh in 2023. If he is not added to the 40-man roster after 23 campaigns, he will be eligible for minor league free agency. By releasing him and then re-signing him to a two-year deal, Tampa Bay could keep him in the 40-man roster through the 2024 season, giving them a chance to evaluate him after a hoped-for rehab.
The 30-year-old Brewer pitched in four straight seasons in the majors from 2018-21. He split that time between the Padres and Red Sox, with his most extended career coming in 2019 for Boston. The righty pitched 91 innings in 81 major league games, working to a 5.04 ERA. Brewer signed with the Royals through the 2022 campaign. He spent the season at Triple-A Omaha, posting a 4.76 ERA over 39 2/3 innings. He struck out a quarter of opponents with an average 10.7% walk rate.
Deeney has major league experience with 20 hits for the Royals in 2019. The right-handed hitter played through the 2021 campaign in the Kansas City organization, then signed with the Mets. Denny spent the season at Triple-A Syracuse, hitting a .232/.323/.446 line with 11 home runs in 201 plate appearances.