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There were Rays playing baseball today ...

Around 30 players are already in Port Charlotte in advance of Thursday’s first official workout.
There were Rays players on the field doing baseball things in Port Charlotte on Monday in advance of the  opening of spring training. [MARC TOPKIN  |  Tampa Bay Times]
There were Rays players on the field doing baseball things in Port Charlotte on Monday in advance of the opening of spring training. [MARC TOPKIN | Tampa Bay Times]

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.

Rays pitcher Tyler Glasnow is already at work on adding a splitter to his repertoire in a bullpen session. [MARC TOPKIN | Tampa Bay Times]

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.

Rays pitching coach Kyle Snyder is already sharing wisdom in a workout. [MARC TOPKIN | Tampa Bay Times]

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.

Wander Franco, the game's No. 1 overall prospect, is among the minor-leaguers working out early in Port Charlotte. [MARC TOPKIN | Tampa Bay Times]

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