A few follow-ups on former Rays signing around the Major Leagues...
Burroughs to Seattle
Former Rays 3B Sean Burroughs, acquired from the San Diego Padres last December in a trade for SP Dewon Brazelton and subsequently released later that season, is reportedly a Seattle Mariner. The deal, a minor league contract, was apparently worth $450,000. The Mariners sign Burroughs with the intention, as the Rays also had, of salvaging some of the talent Burroughs once had as a top prospect in the San Diego system. However his power has never materialized in the major leagues as once hoped. Going into last season, Burroughs was considered perhaps a front-runner for the starting third base job, however he got injured early after struggling in spring training, and once he returned, he split time between the major league club and Triple A Durham before being given his outright release in late June. He finished with 21 at bats in the major leagues last year, hitting .190/.320/.238, and hit .214/.268/.252 in 131 ABs at Durham. For some reason, Seattle seems like a good fit for Burroughs. Maybe he can get his career back on track there, best of luck to him.
Indians Sign Rivas
The Cleveland Indians agreed to terms with major league veteran and Devil Ray farmhand Luis Rivas on a minor league deal with an invite to spring training. Rivas last appeared in the major leagues with Minnesota in 2005, and was their starting second baseman for several years prior before agreeing to a minor league deal in January of this year with the Rays. He went on to injure himself in spring training, just when he appeared to have a decent shot at possibly winning a roster spot, and did not return until late in the season for Durham. He ultimately collected 229 ABs with the Bulls, hitting .218/.252/.288 over that period of time. He has done much better in the winter while playing for Navegantes del Magallanes of the Venezuelan Winter League. Colorado also was purported to be a possible suitor for Rivas. I can't really see Rivas making the final roster for the Indians, and offering him anything more than a minor league deal would be questionable, but the low risk investment can't hurt.
Hollins Goes to the Far East
Damon Hollins is headed to the Pacific Rim. The former Rays outfielder has signed a deal with the Yomiuri Giants of Japan's Central League worth 119 million yen (or about $1 million) over one year. The Yomiuri manager said he expected to bat Hollins in the No. 5 hole of the lineup. This is quite an interesting move for Hollins, and probably a good one. The fact that Yomirui, the flagship franchise of Japanese baseball, is batting Hollins in the No. 5 hole gives you a bit of an idea how much play Hollins could get in Japan as a mere mediocre outfielder in America. It isn't like he could really expect more than a spring training invite in America. This way, he gets to experience the Far East, he gets a high-profile gig with the Yankees of Japan, and he gets a million dollars to boot, more than he could expect in the Lower 48. A good stint in Japan also sets him up for a possible lucrative deal if he returns to the States, as the one year deal allows him flexibility. You can't help but think that he will be successful, as you look at how good he was with Durham in early 2005 before being called up, then figure that Japan has a similar talent level. In any case, best of luck to Hollins, he was a solid citizen in his time with the Rays and I hope success finds him.