Word just broke via the Mariners Official Twitter Feed that the team has signed RH reliever Chris Ray to a minor league deal, with an invitation to Spring Training. Ray just turned 29, and he’s spent most of his career in the Orioles’ organization, before being traded to Texas in late 2009, and then once again to San Francisco midway through 2010. He was worth half a win out of the bullpen back in 2007, but Tommy John surgery in August of the same year has since thrown his career off track.
At one point his best asset was his ability to strike people out, but his K/9 rate took a huge step backward last season, and while his 4.39 FIP doesn’t look too bad on the surface, it was aided by a low BABIP and HR/FB rate.
In short, if he can manage a return towards 2007 form, he’s a cheap, potential 0.5 WAR arm in the bullpen. If he can’t, and his slight walk problem and lack of strikeouts continue to haunt him, the team isn’t any worse off than they are now. It’s just another low risk, medium reward move like we’ve seen so many of this off season.