Former PawSox Outfielder Ryan LaMarre Lands in Tampa

This off-season hasn’t been as odd for free agents as last year which saw many free agents signed at the very last minute. On Tuesday the Tampa Bay Rays signed former PawSox outfielder Ryan LaMarre to a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training.

The 31-year-old actually pre-dated Trifecta Sports coverage of the PawSox which started in 2017 but his 2016 year with Triple-A Pawtucket was commendable.

LaMarre, a former 2nd round pick by the Cincinnati Reds in the 2010 draft came to the Red Sox organization on a similar deal that he signed with Tampa Bay. Back on December 14, 2015, LaMerre signed with Boston as a minor league free agent.

With Triple-A Pawtucket in 2016, the former Michigan Wolverine hit .303 in 317 at-bats while hitting 10 home runs and driving in 41 RBIs all while posting an OPS of .814. In that lone year in the Red Sox organization, LaMarre actually saw some action in Boston with 5 games at the big league level. In those five games, he saw only five at-bats going 0-for-5 with a walk. There is obviously a lot of player movement in MiLB but there is a number of 2016 PawSox players that are expected to be on the team Opening Day 2020 that played with LaMarre.

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Sam Travis, Marco Hernandez (Currently on Waivers), Rusney Castillo, Jantzen Witte, Austin Maddox, and Brian Johnson.

LaMarre in 2016 was third on the team in hits (96), 3rd in HR (10), 2nd in RBIs (41), and 3rd in BB (28).

Since leaving the organization that off-season LaMarre has bounced around a bit with stints in the Angels, A’s Braves, Twins, White Sox, Braves, and then back to the Twins. In his big league career, LaMarre has played in 119 ML games with 225 at-bats posting a .236 batting average and an OPS of .623. Down in the Minor Leagues, he owns a .272 batting average in 2,993 at-bats with 55 career home runs and 294 RBIs. Interestingly enough the International League has been a very familiar site for LaMarre. Not only did he play for the PawSox but he also saw action with the Gwinett Stripers, Charlotte Knights, Rochester Red Wings, and the Louisville Bats. Currently, LaMarre is assigned to the Durham Bulls which would make it his sixth IL team played for if he makes the Opening Day roster.

Not hard to picture LaMarre making the IL Hall of Fame one day.

For anyone looking for a scouting report on the 2020 Durham Bulls, there isn’t a full roster picture yet. The only other name that stands out at this moment is right fielder Dylan Cozens. Cozens prior to the 2019 season had hit 20+ home runs in consecutive seasons for the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs. Cozens spent some time on the IL in 2019, released by the Phillies, and then scooped up by the Rays.

If LaMarre is with Durham in July he will have the chance to face off with the PawSox. Triple-A Pawtucket doesn’t travel to Durham until July 20-23. Durham does come to McCoy from July 28-30.

Shouldn’t Bryce Brentz Land A Contract?

Fellow 31-year-old outfielder Bryce Brentz is still a free agent. Coincidently both LaMarre and Brentz are the same age and play the same position. If LaMarre can land a minor league deal with a ST invite, so can Brentz in theory.

Bryce Brentz rounding the bases after sending a ball to the moon in 2019.

As of post, Brentz is still a free agent and was recently quoted that he would even be open to a job outside of the United States.

Brentz has 34 ML games, all with Boston, posting a .287 batting average in 87 at-bats. At the Triple-A level, the bulk of Brentz’s time has come with the PawSox where he has 1.950 at-bats and a .249 batting average while belting 105 home runs in 533 games.

Brentz’s standout season came back in 2017 when he belted 31 home runs and drove in 85 RBIs while batting .271 in 450 at-bats.

Overall LaMarre and Brentz are similar players, Brentz has better power numbers while LaMarre has been known to hit for contact at the minor league level. Obviously for Brentz coming off a 2019 season where he hit .216 while hitting just 18 home runs and driving in 50 RBIs is a tough selling point. Still, have to think LaMarre getting a deal bodes well for Brentz.
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