The 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.