PORT CHARLOTTE — It’s the first sign, and to some the best sign, that spring is approaching, as there were Rays playing baseball in Port Charlotte on Monday.
Nearly 30 players were in the clubhouse and most on the fields getting in some throwing, running and hitting in advance of Thursday’s official first workout.
There was some news, as the Rays are finalizing a deal to add veteran lefty reliever Aaron Loup to their spring roster, which would bolster their depth after trading Emilio Pagan on Saturday.
The group included returning starter Tyler Glasnow, who was working on the splitter he may add to his repertoire; newcomer Jose Martinez, the veteran DH/1B acquired from the Cardinals; and reliever Jose Alvarado, who missed much of last season with injuries and family issues in Venezuela.
Another interesting new face is reliever Ryan Sherriff, a former Cardinal who is back at full speed after recovering from Tommy John surgery.
There also are more than a dozen minor-leaguers working out, including overall top prospect Wander Franco and 2019 top pick Greg Jones. Minor-league camp doesn’t open until early March.