There will be mutton chops at Tropicana Field in 2013.
The Tampa Bay Rays made official the signing of designated hitter Luke Scott, Wednesday evening. To make room on the 40-man roster, RHP Dane De La Rosa was designated for assignment. The Rays bought out Scott's $6-million option following an injury plagued 2012 giving him $1 million to walk away. The club brought back the left-hander at the reduced rate of $2.75 million, essentially saving the club just over $2 million.
Scott struggled during a difficult 2012 while fighting hamstring and lower back trouble, as well as a rehabbing shoulder. Despite health issues, he did at times flash the talented bat he was brought on board for, especially against right-handed pitching where Scott OPSed .807 and put up a wRC+ of 122, including an ISO (Isolated Slugging) of .247.
Always a bit eccentric, Scott told Mark Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times that getting back into bow hunting in the off season has improved his shoulder strength and that he is, "just strong as a bull." He added that he is throwing well and should be ready to play OF or 1B if needed, a situation that seems unlikely given the Rays current positional flexibility.
De La Rosa pitched in 5 games for the Rays in 2012, facing 22 batters over 5 innings and giving up 7 earned runs. In 67.2 innings at AAA Durham, De La Rosa was solid, striking out 11.57/per nine and posting a 2.79 ERA (3.04 FIP). De La Rosa is somewhat of a forgettable right-hander with little big-league experience, a profile that is common across Major League Baseball. His most memorable moment of 2012 may have been the reported instigation of Sean Rodriguez that prompted Rodriguez to break his hand by punching a locker in the Durham Bulls clubhouse.
The likelihood of De La Rosa clearing waivers seems relatively high.