Rays Designate Hank Blalock For Assignment
By Ben Nicholson-Smith [June 29 at 10:02pm CST]
The Rays designated Hank Blalock for assignment, according to the Tampa Tribune (via Twitter). Gabe Kapler returns from the disabled list tomorrow, so the Rays can afford to part with Blalock. They promoted him in mid-May, just as Pat Burrell's disappointing stint in Tampa was coming to an end. But after tearing through Triple A pitching early on in the season, Blalock hit just one homer and posted a .254/.319/.349 line in the majors.
Blalock, 29, signed a minor league deal with the Rays in March. He makes $925K plus incentives, but even at that salary, it would be a surprise to see a team claim him. Instead, Blalock could be traded or released within the next ten days.
The White Sox have been relying on Mark Kotsay to DH and could use depth at third. Blalock could be a consideration, but he may not be the answer since he has hit righties better than lefties in his career, much like Kotsay. The Twins could look to improve over Danny Valencia and the Angels could use corner infielders, but there's no guarantee either team believes in Blalock's bat or his ability to defend. Blalock was mostly a DH for the Rays, though he did appear at first, third and in right.