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Tampa Bay Rays add Evan Scribner, face interesting bullpen roster battle in 2018

MLB: APR 04 Mariners at Astros Photo by Juan DeLeon/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Rays have signed RHP Evan Scribner to a minor league contract. Sidelined by injuries over the last two seasons, this could be a clever pick up for the Rays.

Lauded as a “control freak” and known for a legendary curveball (that’s two links), MLB Trade Rumors notes that Scribner ranks first in the Majors with just five non-intentional walks since 2014, with a 73.1 percent first-pitch strike rate.

Scribner was released by the Mariners in September after a flexor bundle strain in his right elbow prevented his pitching beyond April. He previously had arm issues in 2016 while recovering from a torn lat.

Scribner’s minor league deal offers a base salary of $800k if he makes the major league squad, and will be eligible to continue his rookie contract in 2019 if retained.

Courtesy of Marc Topkin, here are all the Rays bullpen candidates for 2018:

RHP R.J. Alaniz*
LHP Jose Alvarado
LHP Kyle Bird*
RHP Diego Castillo
RHP Alex Colomé
RHP Edwin Fierro*
RHP Ian Gibaut*
RHP Cody Hall*
RHP Chih-Wei Hu
LHP Dan Jennings
RHP Andrew Kittredge
LHP Adam Kolarek*
RHP Jose Mujica
RHP Colton Murray*
LHP Vidal Nuño*
RHP Austin Pruitt
RHP Chaz Roe
LHP Dan Runzler*
RHP Jaime Schultz
RHP Evan Scribner*
RHP Forrest Snow*
RHP Ryne Stanek
LHP Jonny Venters*
RHP Ryan Weber*

* – minor-league contracts

I have marked the players without options on the 40-man roster in bold. It is also worth noting further that projected starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi, who is returning from his second Tommy John surgery in and whose contract includes incentives for relief achievements, may also find his way into the mix this Spring.

The Rays may also seek to trade RHP Alex Colome, re-sign RHP Sergio Romo before the Spring in through, or make other additions before long.