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Tampa Bay Rays sign five players to minor-league deals

The Tampa Bay Rays officially announced the signing of five players to minor league deals with an invitation to spring training - RHP Jonah Bayliss, OF Chris Carter, RHP Dirk Hayhurst, and INFs Daniel Mayora and Ray Olmedo.

Here's more on the players from the team's release:

Bayliss, 30, spent the 2010 season at Round Rock (AA) in the Houston Astros organization and went 1-4 with a 3.58 ERA (65.1-IP, 26-ER) in 43 relief appearances. He has spent parts of three seasons in the major leagues including stints with the Kansas City Royals (2005) and Pittsburgh Pirates (2006-07). Bayliss owns a 5-4 record and has struck out 54 batters in 64 innings over 61 major league games. The North Adams, Mass., native was drafted by the Royals in the seventh round of the 2002 June Draft and has a 4.13 ERA with 41 saves over nine minor league seasons.

Carter, 28, played in 100 games for the New York Mets in 2010, batting .263 (44-for-167) with four home runs and 24 RBI. As a pinch-hitter, he batted .328 (19-for-58) with one homer and 10 RBI. He started the season at Buffalo (AAA) where he hit .336 with six home runs and 22 RBI in 29 games before his promotion on May 11. He previously played in the Arizona Diamondbacks and Boston Red Sox organizations and served two major league stints with the Red Sox in 2008 and 2009. He has hit .306 with 130 home runs in seven minor league seasons and graduated from Stanford University where he played alongside recent Rays addition Sam Fuld.

Hayhurst, 29, has played eight professional seasons including two stints at the major league level with the San Diego Padres (2008) and Toronto Blue Jays (2009). In 15 games with Toronto in 2009, the reliever posted a 2.78 ERA (23.2-IP, 7-ER) and held right-handed-hitters to a .220 average. He spent the 2010 season recovering from shoulder surgery. The Kent State University graduate was originally drafted by the Padres in the eighth round of the 2003 June Draft. He is the author of The Baseball Gospels, a best-selling book that chronicles his life in the minor leagues.

Mayora, 25, spent the 2010 season at Tulsa (AA) in the Colorado Rockies organization where he hit .286 (67-for-234) with 30 RBI in 66 games. The utility infielder was signed out of Venezuela as a non-drafted free agent in 2003 by Colorado and has hit .286 with 95 stolen bases in eight professional seasons.

Olmedo, 29, hit .284 (118-for-416) with 55 RBI during the 2010 season at Nashville (AAA) in the Milwaukee Brewers organization. The shortstop previously played in the Rays organization in 2009, hitting .250 in 115 games at Durham (AAA). He has spent parts of five seasons in the majors with the Cincinnati Reds (2003-06) and Blue Jays (2007). The Venezuela native was originally signed as a non-drafted free agent by the Reds in 1999.

Tampa Bay Rays sign five players to minor-league deals 01/21/11 [Last modified: Friday, January 21, 2011 10:27am]
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