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Tampa Bay Rays add former top pick Tim Beckham to 40-man roster

Tim Beckham is coming off a season in which he batted .256 at Triple-A Durham and was suspended for a positive drug test.

JAMES BORCHUCK | Times

Tim Beckham is coming off a season in which he batted .256 at Triple-A Durham and was suspended for a positive drug test.

ST. PETERSBURG — Tim Beckham's rise through the Rays' farm system has been slow and heavily scrutinized, as he was the top pick in a 2008 draft that has yielded dozens of big-leaguers topped by NL MVP Buster Posey.

But Beckham, 22, moved a step closer Tuesday when he was added to the Rays' 40-man roster, along with shortstop Hak-Ju Lee and left-handers Felipe Rivero and Enny Romero, protecting them from being taken in the Dec. 6 Rule 5 draft.

Beckham hit .256 with six homers and 28 RBIs at Triple-A Durham, playing second base in addition to shortstop, while sitting out 50 games for a drug test violation.

Lee, considered the Rays' top position prospect, hit .261/4/37 with 37 steals at Double-A Montgomery, missing time with injury. Romero was 5-7, 3.93 in 25 games (23 starts) for advanced Class A Charlotte and Rivero 8-8, 3.41 in 27 games (21 starts) at Class A Bowling Green; both were chosen for the All-Star Futures Game.

Among eligible players not protected were infielder Cole Figueroa and first baseman/outfielder Leslie Anderson.

In other Rays news:

• Reliever Joel Peralta's two-year, $6 million deal — with salaries of $3 million in 2013 and 2014 — was finalized, and it came with a twist.

In return for giving Peralta, who turns 37 in March, the second year he wanted to come back, the Rays got three one-year team options — through 2017 — at a salary of $2.5 million, with no buyouts.

Though it may be unlikely the Rays will pick up the options given Peralta's age, it is unusual, though not unprecedented, to have no buyout attached.

"We love Joel's competitiveness and the impact he has on the younger pitchers in our bullpen," Rays executive vice president Andrew Friedman said in a statement. "He has been an integral part of our late-inning success and has proven that he can get big outs in the American League East."

Peralta was 2-6 with a 3.63 ERA and a career-high 84 strikeouts last season, allowing a .200 batting average and .254 on-base percentage while making 76 appearances, second most in the AL. His 147 games over the past two seasons led the league.

Marc Topkin can be reached at topkin@tampabay.com.

Rays spring training schedule

The spring training schedule features 17 games in Port Charlotte starting Feb. 23 and a March 30 finale at Tropicana Field vs. Detroit.

Prices run from $10 for berm/boardwalk general admission to $27. Season-ticket deposits are being accepted; single-game sales will start in January at a date to be determined.

Spring training opens Feb. 12, a longer run in 2013 due to the World Baseball Classic.

February

23 Pirates (ss) at Port Charlotte 1:05 p.m.
23 Red Sox (ss) Fort Myers 1:05 p.m.
24 Twins at Fort Myers 1:05 p.m.
25 Red Sox at Port Charlotte 1:05 p.m.
26 Astros at Port Charlotte 1:05 p.m.
27 Pirates at Bradenton 1:05 p.m.
28 Tigers at Port Charlotte 1:05 p.m.

March

1 Blue Jays at Dunedin 1:05 p.m.
2 Orioles at Port Charlotte 1:05 p.m.
3 Twins at Port Charlotte 1:05 p.m.
4 Red Sox at Fort Myers 1:05 p.m.
5 Twins at Fort Myers 1:05 p.m.
7 Pirates at Bradenton 1:05 p.m.
8 Phillies at Port Charlotte 1:05 p.m.
9 Phillies at Clearwater 1:05 p.m.
10 Red Sox at Port Charlotte 1:05 p.m.
11 Twins at Port Charlotte 7:05 p.m.
12 Yankees at Port Charlotte 1:05 p.m.
14 Orioles at Sarasota 1:05 p.m.
15 Phillies at Port Charlotte 1:05 p.m.
16 Red Sox at Port Charlotte 1:05 p.m.
17 Red Sox at Fort Myers 1:05 p.m.
19 Tigers at Lakeland 1:05 p.m.
20 Twins at Fort Myers 7:05 p.m.
21 Blue Jays at Port Charlotte 1:05 p.m.
22 Orioles (ss) at Port Charlotte 1:05 p.m.
22 Pirates (ss) at Bradenton 1:05 p.m.
23 Twins at Port Charlotte 1:05 p.m.
24 Yankees at Tampa 1:05 p.m.
25 Pirates at Port Charlotte 7:05 p.m.
26 Phillies at Clearwater 1:05 p.m.
27 Blue Jays at Port Charlotte 1:05 p.m.
28 Orioles at Sarasota 7:05 p.m.
29 Tigers at Lakeland 1:05 p.m.
30 Tigers at Tropicana Field 1:10 p.m.

Tampa Bay Rays add former top pick Tim Beckham to 40-man roster 11/20/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 12:07am]

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