Rays sign outfielder Jaff Decker to minor-league deal
The Rays signed OF Jaff Decker to a minor-league deal with an invite to spring training.
Decker, 26 next month, is a lefty hitter who should have a good shot to compete for a fifth outfield spot, having the athleticism to play all three positions.
A first-round pick by San Diego in 2008, Decker has played 41 big-league games over the last three seasons with the Padres and Pirates, hitting .169. He has spent most of the last three seasons at the Triple-A level, hitting .270 with a .773 OPS.
The Rays look set with an outfield of Desmond Jennings, Kevin Kiermaier and Steven Souza Jr., and Brandon Guyer as the top reserve. Two new acquisitions, Logan Morrison (a lefty hitter) and Steve Pearce (a righty) can also play the outfield.
With the additions of Decker and Pearce, who agreed Thursday to a one-year big-league deal, the Rays have 62 players invited to spring training, which gets underway officially on Feb. 21 in Port Charlotte.