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This Date in Tampa Bay Rays History - 1998, they signed DH Jose Canseco

The Devil Rays made a huge splash in free agency on this date in 1998

Jose Canseco #33

On December 10th, 1998 the Tampa Bay Devil Rays signed former American League MVP, Jose Canseco to a two year deal.

The controversial slugger had a storied past and had dealt with nagging injuries, making his list of suitors dwindle during that off-season, despite a fantastic 1998 campaign with the Toronto Blue Jays in which he slashed .237/.318/.518 with a career high of 46 HR and he also stole 29 bases on the year.

Canseco surged during the beginning of his run with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays as he had over 30 HR by the All Star break, but unfortunately a back injury cost him most of the latter part of the season and when he did return, he wasn’t fully healthy as his numbers dwindled during the final few weeks of the season.

He returned in 2000, but again injuries hampered him and he would be traded away to the New York Yankees in August.

Canseco played one more year in the majors, with the Chicago White Sox in 2001, before not being able to find another job (something he thinks MLB owners colluded about due to his blatant and relentless steroid usage).

Over the past decade and a half, Canseco has been in the headlines multiple times for several bizarre occurrences, like the time he inadvertently shot his finger off at a poker table and also for his autobiography ‘Juiced’ in which he details his steroid usage as well as calling out a whole slew of other ballplayers from his career for their usage.

Canseco has managed to find his way into major league baseball, taking a job as a pre-and-post game host for the Oakland Athletics.