Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Rays to scout out former closer Kelvim Escobar in Venezuela

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays have their eye on another established reliever, Kelvim Escobar, and will take a look Friday when he pitches in Venezuela.

Escobar, 33, has pitched only one game in the big leagues the past two years because of shoulder problems but is considered healthy as he makes his winter ball debut Friday for Lara.

Escobar said the Rays and Mets (who have made a minor-league offer) are most interested, and in comments to El Nacional freelancer Efrain Zavarce, relayed by ESPN's Jorge Arangure, he spoke favorably of both situations.

Rays: "Tampa would be a good place. They have a need for relief pitching. Last year they lost several games because of the bullpen. Now with Rafael Soriano and possibly me, Tampa could be better." Plus, he has a prior relationship from the Angels with Rays manager Joe Maddon, who is trying to recruit him.

Mets: "I love New York, and that's why I'd love to pitch for the Mets. Plus, they have Johan (Santana), Francisco (Rodriguez), and now Henry Blanco."

Escobar saved 38 games for the Jays in 2002 and was primarily a starter from 2004 to 2007 for the Angels. He said he plans to pitch in relief to preserve his shoulder.

Meanwhile, the Rays announced eight minor-league signings with spring training invites who have ties to the organization.

Three played for the Rays last season: first baseman Chris Richard and right-handed relievers Jeff Bennett and Winston Abreu. Four played in the minors: right-hander Joe Bateman and left-handers Jason Cromer and Carlos Hernandez at Triple-A Durham and right-hander Richard de los Santos at Class A after recovering from shoulder surgery. Left-hander R.J. Swindle was claimed on waivers by the Rays but designated for assignment the next day and claimed by Cleveland.

Tampa Bay Rays to scout out former closer Kelvim Escobar in Venezuela 12/14/09 [Last modified: Monday, December 14, 2009 8:39pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Chris Archer knocked out early as Rays lose to Orioles (w/video)

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Another short outing by Chris Archer led to another long afternoon for the Rays in a 9-4 loss to the Orioles on Sunday.

    Chris Archer has not gotten past four innings in four of his past five starts. [WILL VRAGOVIC | Times]
  2. Bucs-Vikings report card: Where's this explosive offense we heard about all offseason?


    O NO

    True, the Bucs defense looked pretty leaky in the 34-17 loss to the Vikings. But you know what needs to happen when the defense is getting torched? The offense needs to step up. In games such as these, with defensive players seemingly getting hurt every play, the offense needs to outscore the other …

    Minnesota Vikings cornerback Trae Waynes (26) intercepts a Jameis Winston pass intended for wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  3. Bucs-Vikings: Instant analysis from Tampa Bay's 34-17 loss


    MINNEAPOLIS — Here's Rick Stroud and Tom Jones' instant analysis from the Bucs' 34-17 loss at Minnesota Sunday. More to come from Rick & Tom — and Greg Auman —- from Minneapolis later today.

    Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jarius Wright (17) dives over the pylon for a touchdown as  Bucs cornerback Ryan Smith (29) defends. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  4. Worst-Case scenario: Case Keenum, Vikings hand Bucs 34-17 loss


    MINNEAPOLIS — With key defensive starters out with injury, the Bucs were dominated by the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, with fill-in quarterback Case Keenum beating Tampa Bay for the third year in a row, …

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston (3) is sacked by Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen (97) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Bucs-Vikings: A by-the-numbers look at the Bucs' 34-17 loss


    Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Clinton McDonald (98) hits Minnesota Vikings quarterback Case Keenum (7) as he passes during the first half of an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times