INF Hank Blalock arrives, excited for opportunity
INF Hank Blalock arrived in Rays camp Tuesday morning after signing a minor league deal, saying they were the only offer he had after a long offseason of uncertainty.
"I didn't have any other choice," he said. "That's why I'm here."
That doesn't mean Blalock, 29, isn't excited for the opportunity. Though there seems to be no spot on the roster for Blalock now, he provides depth and another left-handed bat option. And the two-time All-Star said his "complicated" contract has an opt-out clause for April 1st. Blalock says he's healthy, and is expecting to play in spring games by the end of this week, and hopes he can help the Rays.
"I feel like I can play at least until im 39 the way I’m feeling right now," Blalock said. "I just feel this is the next chapter I my career."
Blalock hit .234 with 25 homers and 66 RBIs last season for Texas, where he split time at first base and DH; his on-base percentage, however, was a career-low .277. He missed large portions of the 2007-08 seasons with injuries.
"I wasn't happy with how I played last year," he said. "I feel like I was capable of doing a lot more offensively. For me, the home run numbers don’t really determine what kind of hitter I want to be or what I'm capable of. That’s one of the frustrating things, if you're an athlete, if you're not performing up to your capabilities. It's exciting for me to be in a new situation, where I can play for the Rays now."