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News » Tampa Bay Rays Notes, Quotes 2009-01-06

Tampa Bay Rays Notes, Quotes 2009-01-06

Tampa Bay Rays Notes, Quotes 2009-01-06
--OF Pat Burrell won a World Series against the Tampa Bay Rays just months ago. On January 5, he joined the Rays after signing a two-year, $16 million contract. Burrell, who hit .250 with 33 home runs and 86 RBIs last season, will serve as the Rays' designated hitter. As a left fielder for the Phillies, Burrell's power bat was often removed from the lineup for a defensive replacement in the field, something that won't have to happen in the American League.

--RHP Troy Percival spoke with manager Joe Maddon before the holidays and told Maddon he was pleased with his back surgery and expects to return, if not by Opening Day, then not too long after the season opener.

--RHP Joe Nelson, who passed his physical and signed his one-year, $1.3 million deal just before the New Year, could find himself as one of the candidates to keep the closer role warm while RHP Troy Percival recovers from his back surgery.

--The 10-day arbitration filing period begins Jan. 5. The Rays have five arbitration-eligible players -- INF Willy Aybar, C Dioner Navarro, SS Jason Bartlett, OF Gabe Gross and RHP Grant Balfour.

--C Michel Hernandez, who played in five games last September and was on the postseason roster, signed a minor league deal with an invite to major league spring training.

--Free agent 1B/DH Jason Giambi and outfielders Pat Burrell, Bobby Abreu, Garret Anderson and Adam Dunn are still on the radar as Rays executive vice president Andrew Friedman continues his search for a power bat.

BY THE NUMBERS: 60 -- Strikeouts in 54 innings for the Florida Marlins last season by newly acquired reliever Joe Nelson.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We feel like Joe (Nelson) can really help our bullpen. He had a tremendous season in 2008 and has been very effective against both left-handed and right-handed hitters. Our bullpen was a large part of our success in 2008, and our quest is to have one of the top bullpens in the American League on an annual basis. Adding Joe certainly helps on that front." -- Andrew Friedman, Rays vice president of baseball.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: January 6, 2009

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