Monday, December 5, 2022

Rays sign Brooks Raley to two-year contract

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.—The Tampa Bay Rays have signed free agent left-handed pitcher Brooks Raley to a two-year, $10 million contract, including a club option for the 2024 season. The signing brings the 40-man roster to its full capacity.

Raley, 33, went 2-3 with a 4.78 ERA (49-IP, 26-ER) in 58 appearances last season for the Houston Astros, including a 1.93 ERA (18.2-IP, 4-ER) in 21 appearances from July 28 through the end of the regular season. He held left-handed batters to a .195 avg. (15-for-77), struck out 41.2 pct. (35 of 85) of lefties faced and did not allow a home run to a lefty. According to StatCast, he limited opponents to an avg. exit velocity of 81.5 mph and a hard-hit rate of 21.5 pct., both of which led the majors (min. 100 batted balls). Opponents hit .149 (10-for-67) in at-bats ending with his slider, and the 48.8 pct. whiff rate against his slider ranked ninth in the American League (min. 50 PA). He also made eight appearances during the 2021 postseason, including a 2.70 ERA (3.1-IP, 1-ER) and .100 opp avg. (1-for-10) in four appearances during the World Series.

Raley made 14 appearances (five starts) for the Chicago Cubs over the 2012-13 seasons, spent the 2014 season in the minors and pitched for the Lotte Giants in the Korean Baseball Organization from 2015-19. In his five seasons in Korea, he went 48-53 with a 4.13 ERA (910.2-IP, 418-ER) in 152 appearances (151 starts). He signed with the Cincinnati Reds in advance of the 2020 season and was traded to the Astros in exchange for a player to be named on August 10, 2020.

Since returning to the majors in 2020, Raley is 2-4 with a 4.83 ERA (69-IP, 37-ER) and 92 strikeouts in 79 appearances. According to StatCast, he has allowed hard-hit contact on 21.4 pct. of batted balls against him over the last two seasons, lowest in the majors among pitchers with at least 60 innings. Raley made six appearances in the 2020 postseason, including four scoreless appearances spanning three innings against the Rays in the American League Championship Series.

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