Smolinski was reassigned to minor-league camp Friday. Smolinski came up short in his bid for an Opening Day roster spot after struggling to a .211/.250/.421 line through 18 spring games. The 30-year-old will open the season in the minors, though he could earn a promotion should injuries strike the big club.
Smolinski is now hitting .286 (8-for-28) this spring after going 1-for-4 with an RBI double and a run in a 7-3 split-squad win over the Tigers on Friday. The veteran outfielder's exhibition resume includes two doubles, a pair of home runs and four RBI. Smolinski has made a solid case for himself with his opportunity as a non-roster invitee to camp, but he still faces an uphill battle for an Opening Day spot in a crowded Rays outfield. The 30-year-old could certainly serve as organizational depth to open the season in Triple-A Durham, however, and would give the team a quality callup option in the event of an injury.
Smolinski signed a minor-league contract with the Rays on Wednesday, Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com reports. Smolinksi spent the past three and a half seasons in Oakland, hitting a combined .227/.287/.357 across 175 games with the A's before being outrighted off the roster in October. The 29-year-old will likely get an invitation to spring training, though he figures to serve as organizational outfield depth for the Rays in 2019.
Smolinski (calf) was activated from the 60-day disabled list and outrighted to Triple-A Nashville on Monday. Smolinski missed the final two months of the 2018 season due to a blood clot in his left calf. When healthy, the outfielder struggled to a .128/.171/.205 slash line across 19 games with the Athletics. The move frees up space on the team's 40-man roster for prospects in need of protection from the upcoming Rule 5 draft.
The Athletics recalled Smolinski from Triple-A Nashville on Sunday. Since being dropped from the Athletics' active roster in mid-May, Smolinski has caught fire at the plate for Nashville, posting a .931 OPS over 21 games. With Matt Joyce (back) on the disabled list, Smolinski will give the Athletics a fresh body on the outfield, but he'll likely struggle to find consistent at-bats.