PORT CHARLOTTE ― Veteran lefty reliever Aaron Loup, 32, officially signed a minor-league deal with the Rays. He said he is over the elbow injury that limited him to four early-season appearances last year with San Diego thanks to a procedure that involved an “extensive” injection.
“I finally got that fixed and taken care of,” he said. “I feel finally probably 100 percent back to where I used to be before the first time I injured my elbow. Everything’s great. I was basically ready to come back at the end of last year, but I think I would have been back for the last week and they said it didn’t make sense roster-wise."
Loup has spent most of his career with Toronto and said he has always wanted to pitch for the Rays, in part because of a career 1.31 ERA at Tropicana Field.
“I’ve always liked coming to the Trop and pitching there,” he said. “So when I had the opportunity I took advantage."
Number of the day
87.3 Projected win total for the Rays by Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA computer model, fourth most in the American League behind the Yankees (99), Astros (98.3), Twins (93.4)
Loup’s signing increased the spring roster to 65. … General manager Erik Neander and manager Kevin Cash will hold a pre-spring media conference Wednesday, with the first workout for pitchers and catchers Thursday. … More than 40 players worked out in Port Charlotte on Tuesday, including catcher Mike Zunino and new acquisitions Manuel Margot and Jose Martinez.