The Rays Tank: Minor league signings, arbitration, Spring Training tix

Spring Training? Is that you on the distant horizon? - Al Bello

Is it February yet?

Rays news and notes

- The Rays inked two minor league contracts Monday, signing 33-year-old outfielder Justin Christian to a minor league deal, with an invite to spring training. He's played parts of three seasons in the majors; 2008 was spent with the Yankees, 2011-2012 was with the Giants and last season with the Cardinals Triple-A team.

The second deal was with 28-year-old catcher Eddy Rodriguez, who had one stint to the majors in 2012 with the Padres and spent 2013 in Double and Triple-A.

- The deadline to file for arbitration is today, but Friday, per Rays policy, is the cut off for negotiating, with a hearing then scheduled.

Seven players remain in the arbitration process, players and projected salaries provided by Marc Topkin:

LHP David Price ($13.1-million)
OF Matt Joyce ($3.7M)
RHP Jeremy Hellickson ($3.3M)
INF/OF Sean Rodriguez ($1.3M)
LHP Jake McGee ($1.2M)
C Jose Lobaton ($1M)
LHP Cesar Ramos ($700K)

- Spring Training tickets go on sale this week, available to Rays Insiders on Thursday and to the general public Friday, on raysbaseball.com.

- The Rays Twitter fam has teamed up to send one special fan, Ro, better known as @Raynaadi on the Twittersphere, to the Trop for Opening Day. To read about her story and help contribute to the cause, head here.

- ICYMI: great article from Chris Moran on the Rays catchers, "pitch framing wizards."

- For the B.J. Upton (and FSU) fans out there, lovely article about the relationship he's developed with the Fisher family and his time spent with them at the BCS Championship. Made me feel especially warm and fuzzy.

Links:

- Delmon Young signed a minor league deal with the Orioles yesterday, with a $1 million dollar salary and an additional $750,000 in incentives awaiting if he makes the 40-man.

- Per a source, Buster Olney took to Twitter yesterday indicating that Grant Balfour's voided contract with the Orioles was due to concerns about Balfour's wrist and knee, not his shoulder; and potentially could be cause for Balfour's continued lack of a contract.

- The Cubs have a new mascot. He...needs a hug. And a bottle of whiskey.

- Not sick of reading about A-Rod yet? First of all, how? Secondly, more material for your perusing pleasure: Craig Calcaterra overviewed and broke down the arbitrator's decision.

- If you're a fan of baseball memorabilia, really cool piece from Sports on Earth about a man named Bill Weiss and the little snippets of history he compiled via an impressive collection.

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