Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays add to potential bullpen options

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ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays added to their depth by signing lefty pitchers Justin Marks and Adam Wilk to minor-league deals with spring training invitations.

Right-hander Kyle McPherson, who spent most of 2015 at Double-A Montgomery, was also added to the spring roster, which stands at 60 with the first workout slated for Feb. 21.

Marks, 28, has pitched in one big-league game — April 20, 2014 — during a seven-season pro career with the A's, Royals, Rangers and Diamondbacks. He spent 2015 with Arizona's Triple-A team, going 5-9 with a 5.63 ERA in 28 games (19 starts). His career minor-league record is 33-53, 4.73.

Wilk, 28, has made nine big-league appearances (three starts) with the Tigers and Angels during six pro seasons. A product of Long Beach State like Rays third baseman Evan Longoria, Wilk spent 2015 with Triple-A Salt Lake, going 7-11, 5.59. He spent the 2013 season pitching in Korea.

McPherson, 28, spent seven years in the Pirates organization, including 10 big-league games (three starts) in 2012. After signing with the Rays in May 2015, he worked his way to Montgomery and went 0-2, 7.48 in 17 relief appearances. Over eight minor-league seasons he is 39-36 with a 3.75 ERA.

The Rays seem likely to add at least one other reliever with a fair amount of major-league experience from the hefty group of unsigned free agents to provide another bullpen option.

GAMBLING investigation: Rangers right-hander Yu Darvish said he has never been involved in gambling activities amid a Major League Baseball investigation after the arrest of his younger brother in Japan. Darvish issued a statement through his agent saying he understands MLB must conduct an investigation and is certain it will find he had no involvement. Sho Darvish was reportedly charged in October in Japan with running an illegal gambling ring.

TV DISPUTE: Just as a trial was to begin, Major League Baseball and its fans reached an agreement to expand the menu of online packages for televised games. The deal came weeks after baseball's lawyers told a judge that for the first time, the league was going to let fans buy single-team packages to watch online.

DODGERS: Right-handed reliever Joe Blanton agreed to a one-year, $4 million deal.

MARLINS: Left-hander Wei-Yin Chen finalized an $80 million, five-year contract.

YANKEES: Shortstop Didi Gregorius agreed to a one-year contract worth $2.425 million, more than four times the $553,900 he earned last year. And right-hander Nathan Eovaldi agreed to a one-year deal worth $5.6 million.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

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