Multiple reports this morning indicate that the Rays are close to signing former Orioles and Indian reliever Tommy Hunter to a minor league deal.
#Rays are close to signing RHP Tommy Hunter to a minor league deal. Could be official later today.— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) February 16, 2017
Rays in agreement on minor-league deal with Tommy Hunter, source tells SBN. @TBTimes_Rays mentioned sides.— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) February 16, 2017
Hunter isn’t an exciting name, but he pitched for two contenders in 2016, posting a 3.18 ERA and 3.06 FIP in 34 innings. He is entering his age-30 season.
In 275 1⁄3 career innings out of the bullpen, Hunter has allowed a 3.27 ERA and 3.49 FIP, and it’s as a reliever he’s gotten decent results. Over the last three years, he has allowed wOBAs of .280, .305, and .297 while playing most of his games at Camden Yards.
Hunter doesn’t strikeout a lot, with a 6.86 K/9 (18.9%) out of the bullpen, but he also limits walks, with a 1.86 BB/9 (5.1%). Hunter threw a 95.87 mile-per-hour four seamer (29.23%), 95.39 mph sinker (33.61%), 85.33 mph curve ball (16.08%), and a 91.92 mph cutter (20.88%) in 2016.
Hunter has been an effective reliever more often than not. As a minor league signing, it’s a good addition. He is not a guy that should compete for high leverage innings, but is a good depth piece as a sixth or seventh man in the bullpen.