Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays hope Wright gives bullpen a boost

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays made another move Monday to try to improve their bullpen, acquiring LHP Wesley Wright from the Astros in a waiver-wire deal.

Wright, 28, will join the Rays today, having averaged a strikeout an inning while making 54 appearances, most for a lefty in the American League. To make room, the Rays optioned RHP Josh Lueke, who was called up Friday, back to Triple-A Durham.

Wright told mlb.com he was surprised by the news. "It's an opportunity to go pitch for a contending team and something I've always wanted to do, and to get this opportunity now is kind of shocking, but I'm also excited about it," he said.

Wright, in his sixth season, was the longest tenured Astros player and, with a salary of $1.025 million, was their second highest-paid player.

Though the Rays announced the deal as a waiver claim (which is typically for $20,000), the Astros considered it a trade as they will get back cash considerations.

Wright is 0-4, 3.92 this season, with 40 strikeouts and 16 walks in 411/3 innings, though he has had trouble with lefties, allowing a .305 average. For his career, he is 10-15, 4.44 in 286 games. He is arbitration eligible and under Rays control though 2015.

PITCHING IN: RHP Chris Archer starts tonight, saying the forearm tightness that forced him from Wednesday's game in Arizona is not a concern. "Even the first day after when I completely rested I felt normal," Archer said, "but getting to throw on the side (Saturday), max intensity, throwing sliders, throwing changeups, two-seams, four-seams, everything, it just gives you peace of mind, 'like that's gone, that doesn't exist anymore.' " … Manager Joe Maddon said the Rays "kind of got a little lucky" in not facing Mariners aces Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma this series, then added "you never know how that's going to play out."

MISCELLANY: Radio broadcaster Andy Freed will miss at least tonight's game for personal reasons. … Sun Sports tonight at 10:30 will debut a Kelly Nash-hosted Inside the Rays episode on Wil Myers. … If the Rays are looking to bolster their offense, an option could be ex-Ray Delmon Young, affordable and available after being designated for assignment by the Phillies. … St. Petersburg native Todd Redmond is in line to start for the Blue Jays on Sunday in what will be his first appearance at the Trop. … Wednesday is another $2 kids night and Sunday is the third Bark in the Park event.

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