Over the weekend, the Tampa Bay Rays acquired infielder Trevor Plouffe from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for either cash or a player to be named later. Plouffe had been designated for assignment by the A’s last week. On Monday, the Rays announced that Plouffe has officially been added to the 25-man active roster. To make room, Tampa Bay designated utility man Michael Martinez for assignment.
Martinez was acquired from the Indians in a trade last month after Cleveland designated him for assignment. In 43 plate appearances between Cleveland and Tampa Bay this season, Martinez is hitting .162. The 34-year-old veteran has bounced around the league since starting his big league career in the Washington Nationals organization. Martinez has also played for the Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates and Boston Red Sox in addition to two separate stints with the Indians.
Oakland plucked Plouffe off the free agent market on a one-year deal after the infielder enjoyed a few productive seasons with the Minnesota Twins. Unfortunately, the 31-year-old was never able to find his form at the plate with the A’s. Over the course of 199 plate appearances, Plouffe hit just .214/.276/.357 with seven homers and 14 RBI. He had seen his playing time diminish in recent weeks, and his departure cleared the way for highly-regarded prospect Matt Chapman to take over at the hot corner on a full-time basis.
Plouffe’s role with the Rays is fairly unclear, but he will likely serve in a reserve role. Tampa Bay can use him to spell either Evan Longoria or Logan Morrison at third or first, respectively, and they also may try him in a corner outfield spot from time-to-time. The Rays reportedly had interest in signing Plouffe over the winter before he joined the Athletics.