uspw_6435488The Rays today announced that they have signed four players to minor league contracts including right-handed pitchers Jamey Wright, Juan Carlos Oviedo, and Juan Sandoval, as well as outfielder Shelley Duncan.

Duncan should be familiar to most Rays cans. It was his dirty slide at second base during the 2008 spring training that spiked Akinori Iwamura and led to Jonny Gomes running in from right field and nearly folding Duncan in half with two hands to the middle of Duncan’s back. Joe Maddon would later describe the play as a “borderline criminal” act

“What you saw today is a definition of a dirty play,” Maddon said. “There’s no room for that in our game. It’s contemptible. It’s wrong. It’s borderline criminal. I can’t believe they did that…”That was a blatant attempt to hurt Aki. And it was set up, it was planned, it was premeditated; it was all of the above.”

Duncan played in 81 games last year with the Indians, hitting .203 with a .288 OBP (.295 wOBA) and 11 home runs. He has played in parts of six seasons, never playing more than 85 games.

Wright will be 38 and has 17 years of big league experience. After making 246 career starts, Wright has been a relief pitcher since 2008. Last season he posted a 3.72 ERA (3.39 FIP) with 54 strikeouts and 30 walks in 67.2 innings.

Oviedo pitched just three innings in the Marlins system in 2012 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He will be 30 this season and in 2011 had a 4.06 ERA (3.96 FIP) 55 strikeouts and 21 walks in 64.1 innings.

Sandoval will be 32 and spent the last two seasons pitching in the Mexican League. Before that, he spent eight seasons in the minors with three different organizations, never moving past triple-A.



  1. Rob says:

    Wonder how they are going to spin that? By the way, Delmon Young signed with the Phillies.

  2. Don says:

    Boy are they scraping the bottom of the barrel now boys, Looks like no more money for players(hitters) this year…what you see is what you got…no better line up than last year…Delmon young & Jaso is like admitting past mistakes….no go for ole Joe.

    • deezy333 says:

      Everyone is right, you are quite the optimist.

      You are aware that every team adds minor league invites to players who still stand no chance of making the roster, right? I don’t see how these signings have anything to do with remaining funds, it seems you’re grasping at straws. Wright is essentially a potential low cost replacement for Badenhop, maybe even better with a better defense behind him. Oviedo has an option for 2014 at a low base and could be a steal. Duncan could platoon with Loney or just add depth at Durham.

      • Don says:

        “Scraping”…just like I call it “optimism”.. and who is grasping?…Ok Mr. McGoo

        • deezy333 says:

          I’m sorry, I have a hard time understanding what you’re trying to say here. “…” doesn’t count as punctuation so it all runs together. Either way, trying to relate a few minor league invites to the Rays remaining funds and how they fill out their opening day roster is not even a STRETCH, they don’t correlate at all. These players won’t even make league minimum if they don’t make the team, either released or just a minor league salary.

  3. sam says:

    You can’t sign good players if you don’t have money. You don’t have money if people don’t come to the stadium to watch games. It’s very simple.

  4. Alex says:

    Oviedo is out for the year after having Tommy John Surgery. The Rays have an option for 2014 because he probably won’t pitch this year

  5. KT says:

    Oviedo is the pitcher formerly known as Leo Nuñez. He was lights out at times as a closer for the Marlins, so this could be a steal if he returns to form after recovery.

    Also, FWIW, the Rays now have 2 players who used to have completely different names and got busted for fraud due to that.

  6. Mr. Smith 1980 says:

    That “borderline criminal” play was the catalyst of the rise of the Rays… the season they let Boston and New York know that the doormat in St. Pete was no longer accepting visitors… so in a weird way we owe Duncan a debt of gratitude… but he’s still a DB

  7. Dave says:

    WOW.. None of these players deserve a minor league contract. All older and have proven time and again they are finished or, in some case, could never get started.
    I would much rather have them sign a bunch of 25 and under guys who have not proven anything…. at least they might develop

    • Don says:

      Dumpster Diving at its best….

    • KT says:

      I really think you should read up on Oviedo AKA Leo Nuñez before you say he doesn’t deserve a Minor League deal. You were probably one of the people talking bad about the Fernando Rodney deal too though, so I guess it’s par for the course.

      Ps- Minor league deals are how you catch lightning in a bottle. If the player doesn’t perform, you cut them and have no substantial loss. If they perform well, you have a player on a really really low priced contract a la Carlos Peña (you know, the guy that was signed to a minor league deal when people like you said he was done and then he hit 47 HR that year).

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