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Rays Make Pena, Casanova Deals Official; Meadows Signs with Reds

Before we move on to this week, it is worth catching up on a news-worthy item that we lapsed on covering last weekend. This item is two-fold, and doesn't really contain any new pieces of information that will affect the 2007 Rays, although we can be assured that there will be no need to take refuge from the threat of Brian Meadows next season.

On the first account, the Rays made the contracts reported last month with Raul Casanova and Carlos Pena official on Thursday night. The Associated Press piece on the transaction reports that both player will receive invitations to spring training, though the two players have different salary structures should they make the final roster.

Pena, 28, who has spent parts of six major league seasons with the Rangers, Athletics, Tigers, and Red Sox, will make $800,000 should he make the final roster coming out of spring training, with opportunities available to him for an additional $400,000 in performance bonuses.

Casanova, 34, a much less likely bet to make the final roster, will nonetheless earn $410,000 if he does, with another $20,000 that can be triggered upon reaching certain performance benchmarks.

For more information on the two respective signings that were made official today, please see the articles written for Pena and Casanova from when their signings were first reported here.

Meadows to Cincinnati

In other Ray-related news, former relief pitcher Brian Meadows has agreed to a minor league deal with the Cincinnati Reds. Meadows, signed last year by the Rays during spring training with the goal of improving the bullpen, was a key contributor to a much-maligned unit over the course of the season. Meadows finished last year with a 5.17 ERA in 53 games with the Rays, displaying excellent control but frequently having issues with the long ball. He also racked up eight saves for the team during a short period in which the team employed him as its closer. The deal with Cincinnati allows Meadows the potential to earn $600,000 should he make the Reds' active roster out of spring training, and the deal affords him another potential $100,000 in attainable performance bonuses. I'll leave you with this quote from Cincinnati General Manager Wayne Krivsky, a quote which speaks volumes about his ineptitude in its simplicity.
"He gives us some depth and another guy to compete for a spot on the team," Reds general manager Wayne Krivsky said. "He's a veteran who throws strikes and knows how to change speeds."

Devil Rays sign Pena to minor league deal [Associated Press via]
Rays to Sign Carlos Pena [DRaysBay] (1/24)
The Non Roster Invitees as of now.... [DRaysBay] (1/22)
Reds, Meadows agree to deal [Cincinnati Post]
Reds add ex-Tampa reliever [Cincinnati Enquirer]
Brian Meadows [Fan Graphs]