RHP Mike Ekstrom claimed from Padres
The Rays claimed RHP Mike Ekstrom off waivers from the Padres and added him to their 40-man roster.
Ekstrom, 26, has some experience with the Padres over the last two seasons, going 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA (35 hits, 15 walks in 25 IP) in 20 games. More impressive was his work at Triple-A Portland last season, where he went 4-2 with a 1.73 ERA in 42 games. He struck out 43 and walked only 16 in 62 1/3 innings, and allowed only a .202 average, earning Pacific Coast League mid-season All-Star honors. He as also impressive in winter ball, going 1-0, 2.50 in 16 games for Hermosillo in the Mexican League.
Ekstrom - 6-feet, 185 pounds - was a 12th round pick in the 2004 draft who was used primarily as a starter until the 2008 season at Double-A San Antonio. The Padres designated Ekstrom for assignment last week to make room for the addition of Jon Garland. After adding Ekstrom, the Rays still have two open spots on their 40-man roster.
Ekstrom throws in the low 90s with a hard slider. He has two options remaining, so the Rays could send him to Triple-A Durham as well.
Also, the Rays added LHP Heath Phillips and, as previously reported, C Alvin Colina on minor-league deals with invitations to spring training.