ST. PETERSBURG -- On Monday, the Rays announced that they did not exercise their $2 million option for right-hander Juan Carlos Oviedo for 2014. In addition, they did not make a qualifying offer to any of their nine free agents.
Team options were exercised on Saturday for shortstop Yunel Escobar and second baseman Ben Zobrist, and on Sunday, Tampa Bay exercised the option for outfielder David DeJesus, which left the fate of Oviedo as the Rays' final option decision.
The Rays opted to pay Oviedo the $30,000 buyout.
Oviedo, previously known as Leo Nunez when he saved 92 games for the Marlins between 2009-11, signed a Minor League deal with Tampa Bay in 2013 and spent the entire season rehabbing from Tommy John surgery to his right elbow.
The Rays had five days to deal exclusively with their free agents, but they did not make any qualifying offers prior to Monday, which signaled the end of the exclusivity period.
Free agents are right-hander Roberto Hernandez, DH/outfielder Luke Scott, closer Fernando Rodney, first baseman James Loney, catcher Jose Molina, infielder/outfielder Kelly Johnson, right-hander Jesse Crain, right-hander Jamey Wright and DH/outfielder Delmon Young.
The fact that Tampa Bay did not make an offer is no indication of whether the team will try to bring back any of the nine for the 2014 season.
Also, the Rays made procedural moves in the cases of outfielder Brandon Guyer and right-handers Jeff Niemann and Alex Colome, who were all reinstated from the 60-day disabled list.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less