Minor deals: 3 re-signed, 2 signed
The Rays re-signed three players to minor-league contracts who were members of their Triple-A Durham team last year, INF J.J. Furmaniak, RHP Richard De Los Santos and LHP R.J. Swindle, and confirmed the signings of two free agents, INF Russ Canzler and RHP Cory Wade. All five will be invited to major-league spring training.
Also, they announced the promotion of athletic trainer Mark Vinson to the major-league staff.
Here is the team release on the moves:
The Tampa Bay Rays have signed five players to minor league contracts, each with an invitation to major league spring training: infielders Russ Canzler and J.J. Furmaniak, right-handed pitchers Richard De Los Santos and Cory Wade and left-handed pitcher R.J. Swindle. In addition, the Rays have promoted Mark Vinson to Assistant Athletic Trainer at the major league level.
Canzler, 24, has spent his entire six-year professional career with the Chicago Cubs organization. He ranked second in the Southern League with 21 home runs for Tennessee (AA) last season while batting .287 (102-for-355) with 66 RBI in 112 games played at third base, first base, right field and left field. The right-handed-hitter was originally selected in the 30th round of the 2004 June Draft from Hazleton (Pa.) Area High School.
Furmaniak, 31, split the 2010 season between Montgomery (AA) and Durham (AAA). After suffering a heel injury in spring training that sidelined him until mid-May, he hit a combined .270 (88-for-326) with 19 doubles and 10 stolen bases in 88 games. The utilityman has played in 29 major league games in previous stints with the Pittsburgh Pirates (2005) and Oakland Athletics (2007).
De Los Santos, 26, led the International League with 14 wins for Durham in 2010, his first full season of action since 2007. The righthander pitched in 28 games (23 starts) and went 14-5 with a 3.52 ERA (148.1-IP, 58 ER). He recorded 10 saves as the closer for Charlotte (A) in 2009 and owns a 42-27 record with a 3.48 ERA over eight professional seasons.
Wade, 27, was sidelined until late June with a shoulder injury and returned to make 21 relief appearances for Albuquerque (AAA) in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization. He finished the 2010 season with a 3-0 record and two saves with a 4.91 ERA (29.1-IP, 16-ER). In his rookie campaign of 2008 with the Dodgers he went 2-1 with a 2.27 ERA (71.1-IP, 18-ER) in 55 appearances and also appeared in 27 games for the Dodgers in 2009.
Swindle, 27, posted a 2.45 ERA (55-IP, 15-ER) with 55 strikeouts in 40 appearances at Durham last season. The lefthander previously pitched for the Philadelphia Phillies (2008) and Milwaukee Brewers (2009) and has an 18-7 career record with a 2.04 ERA over six professional seasons.
Vinson has spent the last five seasons in the Rays organization, including the last three as the Medical Training Coordinator. In that role he oversaw all minor league trainers and rehabilitation as well as assisting the major league club. Prior to joining the Rays he spent four years (2001-04) as a trainer in the Texas Rangers system.