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Rays may sign injured reliever Jordan Norberto

Jordan Norberto did not pitch in the majors this season.
Jordan Norberto did not pitch in the majors this season.
Published Dec. 11, 2013

LAKE BUENA VISTA — Even with the acquisition of RHP Heath Bell and the re-signing of RHP Juan Carlos Oviedo, the Rays are still looking for ways to improve their bullpen.

One possibility is re-signing veteran RHP Jamey Wright, who is said to be deciding between the Rays and his former team, the Dodgers.

Another is the potential signing of LHP Jordan Norberto, a 27-year-old formerly with the A's who is recovering from Tommy John elbow surgery and could be ready by midseason. Norberto was one of 12 players suspended last season for involvement in the Biogenesis scandal.

Norberto had a 2.77 ERA in 39 games for the A's in 2012. But he didn't pitch in the majors in 2013 and was sent to Triple A at the end of spring training then released, leading to a still unresolved grievance claiming he was hurt at the time and should have been on the disabled list.

Wright was 2-2, 3.09 in 66 games for the Rays last season, making the playoffs for the first time.

FIRST MOVES: As the Rays mull their options, the first base market is showing some signs of movement.

The biggest deal came Tuesday, when the Angels sent Mark Trumbo (and two minor-leaguers) to the Diamondbacks as part of a three-team deal that sent OF Adam Eaton to the White Sox and pitchers Hector Santiago and Tyler Skaggs to the Angels.

1B James Loney, who seems to be the Rays' top choice, has reportedly resumed talks with the Pirates. And with Garrett Jones finalizing a deal with the Marlins, Logan Morrison seems almost certain to be traded.

The Trumbo trade could shift the market for Rays LHP David Price, as neither the Angels nor D'backs now seems to have the necessary pieces to swing a deal.

Also potentially contributing factors: the A's traded LHP Brett Anderson to the Rockies, for LHP Drew Pomeranz and RHP Chris Jensen, and the Phillies are said to be open to trading LHPs Cole Hamels or Cliff Lee. Also, Dodgers GM Ned Colletti said they are not looking to add a starting pitcher.

RAYS REPORT: Free-agent closer Fernando Rodney has reportedly drawn interest from the Mariners and reliever Jesse Crain from the Astros. … OF/DH Delmon Young, who finished last season with Tampa Bay, is said to be working out at first base to increase his versatility, though he still doesn't seem to be much of a priority for the Rays. … Price doesn't know where he's headed for spring training, but Sunday he will be at the Tennessee-Arizona NFL game in Nashville, chosen to be the "honorary 12th Titan." … Executive VP Andrew Friedman said the Rays liked what they got last season from INF/OF Kelly Johnson — who signed last week with the Yankees — but they had other decisions to make before they could decide whether to bring him back.

MATTY ICE: OF Matt Diaz, a former Devil Ray and Lakeland product, was at the meetings Tuesday, hoping, at age 35 and coming off left knee surgery, to get another chance. "I'm just looking for a locker," Diaz said. "And I'm cheap."

Diaz had several productive seasons for the Braves through 2010 but has been limited by injuries since. He played only 34 games last season, 10 in the majors. In addition to the outfield, Diaz can play first base and DH and fill in behind the plate.

MISCELLANY: Boston's David Ortiz was a unanimous selection for the outstanding DH award, his seventh in his 17-year career. … Roger Angell was voted winner of the BBWAA's Spink Award and will be honored at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony. … Ex-Rays RHP Jason Hammel reportedly has interest from four teams. … New Met Curtis Granderson took a playful shot at his old employer, the Yankees, in his introductory news conference. "A lot of the people I've met in New York have always said that true New Yorkers are Mets fans," he said. "So I'm excited to get a chance to see them all out there." … OF Rajai Davis and the Tigers are reportedly close to a two-year deal. … The Orioles signed RHP Ryan Webb, a Clearwater Central Catholic product, to a two-year contract.

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Information from Times wires was used in this report.


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