The Rays took the first of two steps to bolster their bullpen on Monday by recalling righthanded pitcher Jason Hammel from Triple-A Durham, where he was 4-5, 3.42 as a starter.
They are expected to make another move Tuesday, when they sign veteran righthander Jay Witasick, who was released last week by Oakland after going 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA in 16 games.
Witasick will first go through a workout Tuesday morning.
If he is signed, the Rays are expected to designate for assignment Tim Corcoran to make room on the 40-man roster.
Hammel will initially work on long relief.
Witasick, who hasn't pitched in a game since May 29, will have the opportunity to pitch in key late-inning situations. In 12 big-league seasons, he is 32-41 with a 4.59 ERA. He cleared waivers on Monday.
Also, veteran righthander Jae Seo accepted an assignment to Triple-A Durham.
-- Marc Topkin, Times staff writer