The Tampa Bay Rays have agreed to terms with right-handed pitcher Shawn Tolleson on a one-year contract worth $1 million, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. According to the Tampa Bay Times, he can make up to $1.5 million in incentives.
Tolleson was cut loose by the Rangers this offseason after a trying 2016 that saw him post a horrible 7.68 ERA. This all comes just a season after Tolleson finished top-10 in Cy-Young Voting with a 2.99 ERA and a solid 35 saves.
Tolleson is likely to slot into a high leverage middle relief capacity initially, and potentially work his way up the ladder in Tampa’s bullpen. He will be under team control through 2018 and, like Wilson Ramos, gives the Rays a high-upside piece for this season and next season that could function as a great trade chip if things go south, for a well-below market price.
The Rays have taken a very opportunistic approach this offseason, having been connected to players like Jose Bautista, and signing the aforementioned Wilson Ramos. While the Rays may not necessarily compete in 2017, they could be setting themselves up for two or three years down the line. The Rays have assembled themselves some solid players who could hold significant value on the trade front or for the team in the long run.