Rays finalize 25-man roster for Opening Day

Eveland selected for bullpen; Mahtook optioned to Triple-A

Rays finalize 25-man roster for Opening Day

ST. PETERSBURG -- Heading into the final days of camp, the big question facing the Rays was where they would add an extra player to their roster: In the outfield or the bullpen?

Since Tampa Bay opted to begin the season with a four-man rotation, it had the luxury of placing another player elsewhere. The club ended the suspense on Saturday, when it announced the composition of their 25-man roster.

Left-hander Dana Eveland was selected to the Major League roster, giving the bullpen eight members, and outfielder Mike Mahtook was optioned to Triple-A Durham.

"We decided to go with the extra reliever to strengthen our 'pen and give us a little more length in the 'pen," said Rays president of baseball operations Matt Silverman. "We felt that was more important than the extra position player -- especially given the versatility of the other position players on our roster."

In addition, right-hander Andrew Bellatti was optioned to Durham, and right-handers Brad Boxberger and Alex Cobb were placed on the 15-day disabled list.

First baseman James Loney was told earlier in the week that he would not be on the team. His status will be determined by Sunday's noon ET deadline to have rosters set.

Here's what the roster looks like heading into Sunday's Opening Day contest against the Blue Jays at Tropicana Field:

Starting rotation: Chris Archer, Drew Smyly, Jake Odorizzi and Matt Moore.

Bullpen: Alex Colome, Enny Romero, Steve Geltz, Danny Farquhar, Eveland, Xavier Cedeno, Ryan Webb and Erasmo Ramirez.

Catcher: Curt Casali and Hank Conger.

Infield: Evan Longoria, Brad Miller, Tim Beckham, Logan Forsythe, Steve Pearce and Logan Morrison.

Outfield: Corey Dickerson, Desmond Jennings, Kevin Kiermaier, Steven Souza Jr. and Brandon Guyer.

Silverman praised Mahtook's performance in September and how he played this spring. He also noted that there were disappointed players who are Major Leaguers that will begin the season in the Minor Leagues.

"[They were] the product of, it felt like, thousands of conversations that we had toward the end of spring," Silverman said of the final roster decisions. "Just trying to figure out the proper roster structure for Opening Day. Knowing that it's going to be somewhat fluid, especially in the month of April, given our schedule and also the inevitable things that come up during the season."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.