PORT CHARLOTTE — After trading reliever Emilio Pagan over the weekend, the Rays on Monday were finalizing a deal to add veteran lefty Aaron Loup on a minor-league deal with an invitation to camp.
Loup, 32, spent last season with the Padres, but was limited to only four early-season appearances before being sidelined with an elbow strain. He spent seven-plus seasons with the Blue Jays, then was traded to the Phillies on July 31, 2018.
Overall, Loup has a 12-20, 3.45 record over nearly 400 appearances, averaging nearly a strikeout an inning and a 54.3 percent groundball rate. He has been better against lefties, but is not limited to a specialist role.
The Rays are deep in lefty relievers, with Jose Alvarado coming off a lost 2019 season and Colin Poche at the head of the list, assuming Ryan Yarbrough is used as a starter. Ryan Sherriff and Sean Gilmartin, who both have big-league time, are in camp on minor-league deals. Anthony Banda, Jalen Beeks and Brendan McKay could be options or be used as starters at Triple-A.
In adding Loup after trading Pagan, who was sent to the Padres for outfielder Manuel Margot, the Rays will have 33 pitchers in camp, which opens officially Thursday.