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Rays sign reliever Hunter Strickland to minor-league deal

Right-hander has had big-league time with Giants, Mariners, Nats and Mets, and a famous fight with Bryce Harper.
Pitcher Hunter Strickland delivers against the Atlanta Braves during a July 25 game last year in New York.
Pitcher Hunter Strickland delivers against the Atlanta Braves during a July 25 game last year in New York. [ ADAM HUNGER | Associated Press (2020) ]
Published Feb. 9

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays continue to build bullpen depth, signing veteran right-hander Hunter Strickland to a minor-league deal with an invite to spring training.

Strickland, 32, spent parts of five seasons with the Giants, averaging 61 appearances from 2015-18, then split 2019 between the Mariners and Nationals and pitched, briefly, for the Mets in 2020, logging only 3 1/3 innings.

In 285 big-league games, he is 16-16 with a 3.23 ERA and 21 saves, 14 during 2018 with San Francisco.

He also is known for having beef with then-Nationals star Bryce Harper that culminated in a 2017 fight featuring an exchange of punches.

With Strickland’s signing, which per the team transactions page took place last week, the Rays have 56 players set for spring training, which starts next week in Port Charlotte for pitchers and catchers.

Additional moves are coming this week, as the Rays have to make room on the 40-man roster for the addition of free-agent pitcher Chris Archer.