ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays have signed five former major leaguers to minor-league contracts with invitations to big league spring training.
Along with previously reported catchers Kevan Smith and Chris Herrmann, the Rays have signed outfielder Ryan LaMarre, right-handed pitcher Aaron Slegers and left-handed pitcher D.J. Snelten.
Slegers, 27, spent almost all of last season with the Rays’ Triple-A team in Durham, going 6-7 with a 5.05 ERA in 26 appearances, including 15 starts. Slegers made one appearance for Tampa Bay in 2019, pitching three innings in relief against the Orioles to get his first big league save on Aug. 23.
Snelten, 27, was a ninth-round pick out of the University of Minnesota by the Giants in 2013 and spent six years in their farm system. His lone big league experience was four relief appearances in San Francisco in 2018. After being waived by the Giants and released by the Orioles, he spent last season in an independent league.
LaMarre, 31, has spent parts of the last five seasons in the majors with five different organizations. His most extensive playing time came in 2018 when he hit .279 with two homers in 180 plate appearances between the White Sox and Twins. Of his 62 big league starts, 42 have come in centerfield.
Smith and Herrmann could possibly challenge Michael Perez for the backup catcher job.
John Romano can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @romano_tbtimes.