ST. PETERSBURG — How much stronger and healthier the Rays' Luke Scott feels going into this season vs. last can be measured in several ways:
The 10 pounds of muscle he added as part of a new training program emphasizing core strength. The long distances and ease with which he's throwing with no issues from the right shoulder that hampered him in recovery from July 2011 surgery. And the residuals of being able to again incorporate activities into his offseason such as wood chopping and bow hunting.
"There's definitely some meat in the freezer," Scott said. "I definitely put that bow to use and harvested some of God's furry little creatures."
Scott, 34, officially rejoined the Rays on Wednesday, completing a one-year deal for $2.75 million, with another $750,000 in incentives. Plus, he got a $1 million buyout when the Rays declined a $6 million option. Reliever Dane De La Rosa, whose chances to make the team were slim, was designated for assignment.
After hitting .229 with 14 homers and 55 RBIs in a disappointing debut season with the Rays marred by two disabled-list stints, Scott said he welcomed the chance for redemption. "I'm very thankful for another opportunity to see the fruits of my labor and put up the same numbers," he said.
With the shoulder feeling good — in part from the bow-hunting, he said — Scott expects to be able to play first base and the outfield right away, making him a better fit in the Rays' scheme.
"I'm back to where I was before I had surgery," he said. "I'm just strong as a bull, and I feel great."
Marc Topkin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.