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Rays re-sign former top pick Brendan McKay

It’s a two-year minor-league deal for the lefty who will spend 2023 rehabbing from Tommy John surgery.
Brendan McKay has not pitched in the majors since 2019, when he made his debut as a heralded prospect.
Brendan McKay has not pitched in the majors since 2019, when he made his debut as a heralded prospect. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]
Published Dec. 16, 2022

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays have re-signed 2017 top draft pick Brendan McKay to a two-year, minor-league contract.

McKay, 26, was released in November as the Rays cleared space on their 40-man roster with the expectation the team would seek to re-sign him. The left-handed pitcher will miss the 2023 season as he rehabs from September Tommy John elbow surgery, the latest in a series of arm injuries.

McKay has not pitched in the majors since 2019, when he made his debut as a heralded prospect. He went 2-4 with a 5.14 ERA in 13 pitching appearances and was 2-for-10 with one home run as a hitter.

McKay had left shoulder surgery in August 2020, missing the pandemic-abbreviated season. He saw limited action in 2021 before being sidelined by an August elbow injury and had thoracic outlet syndrome surgery after the season. The Rays decided he would give up two-way play to concentrate on pitching, and as he rehabbed this past August he sustained the ligament tear that led to the most recent procedure.

McKay was a highly touted two-way player coming out of Louisville and commanded a $7 million-plus signing bonus in June 2017.

The Rays recently signed two other players to minor-league deals:

Right-handed reliever Colten Brewer, a 30-year-old who pitched in 81 big-league games from 2018-21 with the Padres and Red Sox, compiling a 2-5, 5.04 record. He spent 2022 with the Royals’ Triple-A team, going 1-1, 4.76.

Catcher Nick Dini, a 29-year-old who played 20 games for the Royals in 2019, hitting .196. He spent the last two seasons at Triple-A with the Royals and Mets.

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