Roger Mooney covers the Tampa Bay Rays for The Tampa Tribune, TBO.com and News Channel 8. He has covered the Rays since their first season in 1998, including 11 years for the Bradenton Herald. Roger has also covered Florida, South Florida and Florida State football, the Bucs and the Lightning.
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Howell, Aybar, Cormier, Navi nontendered
Posted Dec 2, 2010 by Roger Mooney
Updated Dec 2, 2010 at 11:49 PM
BY ROGER MOONEY
The Rays nontendered pitcher J.P. Howell and Lance Cormier, infielder Willy Aybar and catcher Dioner Navarro.
They have tendered contracts to shortstop Jason Bartlett, pitchers Matt Garza and Andy Sonnanstine, center fielder B.J. Upton and DH/1B Dan Johnson.
VP of baseball Andrew Friedman said he’s optimistic he will re-sign J.P. Howell soon. Howell said earlier in the day that he hoped to remain a Ray.
Friedman also said the team still has interest in Cormier and Aybar.
As for Navarro, it’s time for the catcher to say good-bye to Tampa Bay.
While Friedman acknowledged Navarro’s importance to the Rays in 2008, he said John Jaso and Kelly Shoppach will be the catchers in 2011. This gives Navarro a chance to catch on with another team.
Should Cormier not return, the Rays will loss seven of the eight pitchers who spent the most time in the bullpen last season.