Hot Stove: A Pair Of Tampa Bay Refugees

Once again, I didn’t have time to (*ahem*) shop for some new cereal this week, so we’ve got a box from one of my previous stock-up trips.

bips-cereal

A lot of you like a nice bowl of Bips anyway, so I’m sure you won’t mind. By the way, I’ve heard rumors that next year’s Hot Stove cards could appear in products other than breakfast cereal… but that’s a long way away, we’ll worry about that when we get there.

So it occurred to me that a lot of my readers are Dodgers fans, yet we haven’t pulled a Dodgers card. The main reason for this is because the Dodgers aren’t well-represented on the Hot Stove checklist, given that majority of the Dodgers’ big off-season moves have been re-signing Kenley Jansen, Justin Turner and Rich Hill.

I’m still waiting for that rumored Yasiel Puig for Ryan Braun trade to happen, so the biggest new acquisition for the Dodgers is former Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Logan Forsythe.
2016-17-tsr-hot-stove-9-logan-forsythe-los-angeles-dodgers
So what can I tell you about Forsythe? He played 3 years for the Padres and 3 years for the Rays. He was tied for 5th in the A.L. in errors by a second baseman last year… He had 9, Rougned Odor was way ahead of everyone in the Majors with 22 E’s. In 2015 he broke up a perfect game which Marco Estrada had taken to the 8th inning.

As it turns out, we’ve got a bonus card in this box of Bips…  And it involves another former Ray.  Before we get to it, I’ll point out that it’s from a sporadic set of “unlicensed” customs I call “41st Man”, honoring those players who are liked enough to repeatedly be added to 40-man rosters but not liked quite enough to stick on those roster… Something that a guy who calls himself “Joe Shlabotnik” can identify with.

Richie Shaffer was the Rays 1st round pick out of Clemson in 2012, and after that season Baseball America named him the Rays’ #7 prospect. Shaffer hit cleanup for the USA in the 2015 Futures Game and played in the Majors some in 2015 and 2016.
2017-tsr-41st-man-richie-shaffer
He was traded to the Mariners on 11/18 in a move intended to clear space off the Tampa Bay 40-man roster. The M’s put him on waivers on 12/14, and he was claimed by the Phillies… A young team who would certainly have a spot for a former prospect, right? Wrong. The Phillies also tried to pass him through waivers and lost him to the Reds. Surely the Reds can find a role for — no, wait, they lost him on waivers to the Indians on 1/26. Four days later, the Indians designated him for assignment and he finally passed through waivers and was outrighted to AAA. Shaffer did get an invite to Spring Training, and he’ll be one of the guys that The Shlabotnik Report will pull for this March.

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