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Minor-league deals for S. Duncan, J. Wright, J. Sandoval, J.C. Oviedo



The Rays added four more experienced players to their spring roster, signing OF Shelley Duncan and RHPs Jamey Wright, Juan Sandoval and Juan Carlos Oviedo (the former Leo Nunez) to minor-league deals.

Oviedo, who was on the restricted list and then suspended by MLB for eight weeks due to age and identity fraud, injured his elbow while working his way back to the majors and underwent Tommy John surgery in September, which is likely to keep him sidelined much of this season. The Rays also hold a 2014 option on the 39-year-old. As Nunez, he was an effective reliever for the Marlins, saving 92 games from 2009-11.

(The Rays previously signed another player with a similar issue, Roberto Hernandez, who was known as Fausto Carmona.)

Duncan already has a place in Rays lore. He was a catalyst to the second part of the 2008 spring brawl with the Yankees when he slid high and hard into 2B Aki Iwamura, prompting Jonny Gomes to charge in from rightfield after him. Duncan's slide was in retaliation for Elliot Johnson crashing into Francisco Cervelli a few days earlier.

Wright, 38, has been an effective reliever since going to the bullpen fulltime in 2008. Sandoval has Triple-A experience and more recently has been pitching in Mexico. 

 Here are some details from the team release:

Wright, 38, is a 17-year major league veteran who has a 4.89 ERA over 592
 career appearances (246 starts).  In 2012, he went 5-3 with a 3.72 ERA
 (67.2-IP, 28-ER) in 66 relief outings for the Los Angeles Dodgers.  The
 righthander transitioned to a full-time role in the bullpen in 2008 and has
 compiled a 4.15 ERA in 357.2 innings pitched since then, the second-most
 relief innings in the majors in that span behind only Carlos Marmol
 (368.1).  He also ranks third among active pitchers in pickoffs with 61,
 trailing only lefthanders Andy Pettitte (102) and Mark Buehrle (89).
 Wright was originally a first-round selection by the Colorado Rockies in
 the 1993 June Draft and has spent time in the majors with nine different
 teams: the Rockies (1996-99, 2004-05), Milwaukee Brewers (2000-02), St.
 Louis Cardinals (2002), Kansas City Royals (2003, 2009), San Francisco
 Giants (2006), Texas Rangers (2007-08), Cleveland Indians (2010), Seattle
 Mariners (2010-11) and Dodgers (2012).

Duncan, 33, spent the 2012 season with the Indians and hit .203
 (47-for-232) with 11 home runs, 10 doubles and 31 RBI in 81 games.  Over
 the last three seasons with Cleveland (2010-12), he has totaled 33 home
 runs, 37 doubles and 114 RBI in 242 games.  The right-handed hitting
 outfielder also played parts of three seasons in the majors with the New
 York Yankees (2007-09).  He is the son of former Cardinals pitching coach
 Dave Duncan and brother of former major league outfielder Chris Duncan.

Oviedo (formerly known as Leo Nuñez), 30, spent 2012 with the Miami Marlins
 organization but did not pitch in the majors.  He spent the first three and
 a half months of the season on the restricted list and then underwent Tommy
 John surgery in September after injuring his right elbow in a rehab
 assignment with Triple-A New Orleans.  The reliever logged 92 saves from
 2009-11 as the Marlins closer and has a career 4.34 ERA over seven major
 league seasons with the Royals (2005-08) and Marlins.  His contract with
 the Rays includes a club option for 2014.

Sandoval, who turned 32 on January 13, split the 2012 season with Mexico
 and Oaxaca in the Mexican League, combining to go 7-3 with a 2.97 ERA
 (69.2-IP, 23-ER) in 67 relief appearances.  He has played the last two
 seasons in the Mexican League and is a veteran of 10 minor league seasons.
 The Dominican native originally signed with Seattle in 2002 and has spent
 time in the Mariners (2002-07), Brewers (2008-09) and Philadelphia Phillies
 (2010) organizations.

[Last modified: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 6:38pm]


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