posted on Jul, 17 2004 @ 04:39 PM
St. Petersburg, FL (Sports Network) - The Tampa Bay Devil Rays on Saturday cut first baseman Fred McGriff, who is just seven home runs shy of 500 for
McGriff, 40, has struggled since Tampa Bay brought him up from Triple-A Durham back on May 28. He is batting just .181 with two homers and seven RBI
in 27 games.
Since Tampa Bay has designated him for assignment, the club has 10 days to trade him, outright him to the minors or place him on waivers.
Unless a team picks up the veteran slugger, it is likely that his quest for 500 career home runs will come to an end. McGriff, who is currently tied
with Lou Gehrig for 21st place on the career home run list with 493, played with the Rays from their inception in 1998 until a 2001 trade to the Cubs.
A Tampa native, McGriff was attempting to join Ted Williams, Willie McCovey and Eddie Murray -- all Hall-of-Famers -- as the only players to reach the
500 plateau after turning 40.
McGriff, who is a five-time All-Star, has a .284 lifetime average with 2,490 hits and 1,550 RBI.
The 18-year veteran, who started his career with the Toronto Blue Jays, also had stints with San Diego and Atlanta. He endured an injury-plagued
season last year with the Los Angeles Dodgers, hitting 13 homers with 40 RBI in just 86 games.
In a corresponding move, the Devil Rays called up outfielder Joey Gathright and infielder Jorge Cantu from Durham. Utilityman Damian Rolls was
optioned to Durham.
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