(via Tampa Bay Rays Communications) - The Tampa Bay Rays have signed right-handed relief pitcher Juan Carlos Oviedo to a one-year major league contract worth $1.5 million guaranteed, a figure that could increase to $2.9 million if performance bonuses are reached. Oviedo had declared free agency before re-signing with the Rays.
Oviedo, 31, signed with the Rays as a minor league free agent prior to the 2013 season but did not pitch while recovering from Tommy John surgery. Formerly known as Leo Nuñez, he recorded 92 saves from 2009-11 as the Marlins closer and has a career 4.34 ERA over seven major league seasons with the Royals (2005-08) and Marlins. He spent 2012 with the Marlins organization but did not pitch in the majors.
By Dory LeBlanc
Newly-acquired catcher Ryan Hanigan joined The Ron and Ian Show Thursday morning and said he was aware that the Rays had been interested in bringing him in for quite some time; something the Rollins College product is excited has finally come to fruition.
"I wasn't sure what the Reds were going to do," Hanigan said. "I know they were in a situation with the younger guys, Devin (Morasco) [who] was coming up, and they were in a situation at the time where, you know, I was playing a few more games and starting a little bit more, but he was coming into his own and needed some more playing time.
"I wasn't sure what direction they (Reds) wanted to head, and when I talked to the organization and found out what their plans were, I realized that the interest from Tampa was there and that's kind of where they were starting in talking to and you know, the Rays were going pretty hard, and so once I kind of realized that I got on board with setting my sights on Florida and being a Ray and I got to know some of the guys in the organization on a quick basis there and pretty much realized this is where I was going to end up."
Last season, Hanigan hit .198/.306/.261 with eight doubles and two homers in 260 plate appearances - down from his usual production due to an injury-plagued season. In the previous four seasons combined, the three-time All Star hit .275/.370/.359.
Part of the Rays long-standing intrigue with Hanigan, is he fits what Tampa Bay likes in catchers - the ability to call a ballgame.
Wednesday, Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey praised Hanigan for his defensive ability and said he fans may be seeing a lot of the 33-year old next season.
“I think he’ll probably do the majority of the catching although I’m not positive yet because we haven’t discussed that” said Hickey. “I’m excited about it because I know we’ve been interested in this guy (Hanigan) for a number of years and I’m really not sure how it all came together. The fact that he can hit, and the fact that he calls a great ballgame. I’ve talked to people about that that are very familiar with him. He calls a real good ball game, he catches well and throws well. He does all the things that you would look for, so I would imagine he’d probably catch somewhere around 100 games.”
To listen to Hickey on the Ron and Ian Show, click HERE. To hear Hanigan's interview in its entirety, click the iHeart player below:
(via Tampa Bay Rays Communications) - The Tampa Bay Rays have introduced new Flex Packs for the 2014 season including special Holiday Flex Packs now on sale through raysbaseball.com. Flex Packs are available in three-, six- or nine-game voucher packages and offer savings of up to 60 percent off the single-game ticket price. Three-game packs start at just $49, and for a limited time, all holiday Flex Packs include a special Wil Myers Rookie of the Year cap.
In addition to substantial savings, Flex Packs offer fans the flexibility to select the games of their choice and earn rewards throughout the season. Flex Pack buyers will have game vouchers loaded into an online account which may be exchanged online for any game during the 2014 regular season, subject to availability. Vouchers can be redeemed beginning February 10, 2014, before the general on sale for single game tickets, and up until six hours before the desired game. This redemption window gives fans added convenience in choosing the games they wish to attend.
All fans who purchase a Flex Pack will receive a special Rays Card (one card per Flex Pack purchased). The card will serve as their ticket to the game (paper tickets will not be issued). Card holders will also be able to load funds to the card that can be used to purchase concessions and merchandise throughout Tropicana Field. In using the Rays Cards, Flex Pack purchasers will also earn Blue membership status with the team. Blue members will earn a 5 percent bonus on all funds loaded to their Rays Cards and will receive other rewards and special promotions throughout the 2014 season. More Flex Pack details are available at raysbaseball.com.
Rays Season Ticket Holders will continue to have access to the best seat locations and receive exclusive benefits including the opportunity to purchase postseason ticket packages. Season Ticket Holders also receive larger bonuses on funds loaded to their Rays Cards as part of their Gold member status, with select premium seat locations receiving Elite member status.
Reservations for 2014 ticket plans may be made by calling 888-FAN-RAYS, online at raysbaseball.com or by visiting the Rays Executive Offices at Tropicana Field open 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.