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News » Tampa Bay Rays Notes, Quotes 2009-02-27

Tampa Bay Rays Notes, Quotes 2009-02-27

Tampa Bay Rays Notes, Quotes 2009-02-27
--RHP Jason Isringhausen, a 36-year-old veteran with 293 career saves, signed a minor league deal with the Rays. He spent the winter looking for a job on the free agent market after having elbow surgery last season. Isringhausen, who maintains he is now fully healthy, will compete for a bullpen job.

--LHP Scott Kazmir was "disappointed" after the Rays were successful in blocking him from pitching in the World Baseball Classic, who were concerned about the accelerated preparation required and the effect on their 25-year-old left-hander's health.

--RHP Juan Salas, taken off the 40-man roster to make room for the signing of LHP Brian Shouse, was traded to Cleveland for minor league INF Isaias Velasquez, who hit .281 for Class A Mahoning Valley.

--2B Adam Kennedy, released the week before by St. Louis, was added to the spring roster on the eve of the first full-squad workout. Kennedy gives the Rays depth in the event of an injury to starter Akinori Iwamura, who is participating in the World Baseball Classic.

--INF Willy Aybar doesn't have a full-time job, but he has a multi-year contract that could be worth more than $6 million over three years. In avoiding arbitration for at least two years, the Rays signed Aybar for $975,000 this season, $1.35 million in 2010 and either a $2.2 million salary, or $275,000 buyout (and the chance to be arbitration eligible again) in 2011. With salary escalators based on plate appearances, he could make $6.275 million. "We've had the chance over the last year to really get to know Willy and we feel he brings a lot of our club," executive vice-president Andrew Friedman said.

--3B Evan Longoria is on the provisional roster for the U.S. team in the World Baseball Classic, but does not expect to be picked for the final team unless Chipper Jones or David Wright don't play. "I think they're just gonna go based on seniority," Longoria said.

BY THE NUMBERS: 0 -- Times before this year that RHP Joe Nelson went to spring training with a guaranteed major league contract in 14 pro seasons.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Let's just say it was a little different scale." -- DH Pat Burrell, on the Feb. 19 Welcome to Charlotte County parade compared to his last one, the Phillies' World Series championship march.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: February 27, 2009

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