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Tampa Bay Rays sign RHP Dustin McGowan

Former top prospect signed to minor league deal with spring training invite

MLB: Colorado Rockies at Miami Marlins Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Rays have signed veteran RHP Dustin McGowan to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training.

McGowan has pitched in parts of major league seasons dating back to 2005 when he made his debut with the Toronto Blue Jays. Originally drafted by Toronto with the 33rd overall selection of the 2000 draft, McGowan would quickly become one of the top prospects in baseball and was featured among Baseball America’s top 100 during his ascent through the system.

Since making his debut, McGowan has displayed the excellence that made him a top prospect a few times, but has never been able consistently string it together from year to year.

After losing his spot in the starting rotation, he transferred to a bullpen role where he has performed at below replacement level over the past few years. He left the Blue Jays following the 2014 season, and has been with several organizations since. He had been with the Miami Marlins since the start of the 2016 season.

McGowan pitched in 63 games with Miami in 2017, holding opponents to a .256 batting average against. His strong suit is getting right-handed hitters out, but he should never be left in to face lefties as they have decimated him.

Pitchers and catchers report on February 14th, meaning the battle for the Opening Day bullpen begins, and McGowan will be a strong contender to make the roster.