The Tampa Bay Rays this afternoon announced that the organization signed RHP Juan Cruz to a minor league contract. As free agency winds down, the Rays seem to be acting like a single man at the bar 30 minutes before closing time, trying to pick up whoever is left in the bar when the house lights come on.
Cruz has played 10 seasons in the majors with the Chicago Cubs, Atlanta Braves, Oakland A’s and the Arizona Diamondbacks. During his career, he managed a 32-35 overall record with three saves and a 4.15 ERA.
Cruz,32, has historically been regarded as a middle relief pitcher, and was lost for last season after having to undergo shoulder surgery in order to remove a cyst. The Rays now have 28 pitchers on their roster heading into spring training, qand it is believed that 11 pitchers will compete for three open reliver positions.
The signing cannot hurt, and once again, this comes as an addition which comes with little downside, but maximum upside. The Rays have shown a propensity for re-claiming players off the scrap heap. We can only hope that Cruz is yet another one.