The Rays are set to sign right-hander Cory Rasmus — the younger brother of outfielder Colby Rasmus, who recently signed a one-year deal with Tampa Bay — to a minor league contract, reports Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times (on Twitter).
After a brief MLB debut with the Braves back in 2013, the younger Rasmus spent the bulk of the past four seasons in the Angels organization. Though he found success in both 2013 and 2014 with the Halos, the past two seasons were a struggle for Cory, as he pitched to a combined 5.56 ERA in 45 1/3 innings. The 29-year-old is predominantly a fly-ball pitcher with below-average velocity and some control issues, but he’s nonetheless racked up 121 strikeouts in 123 Major League innings to date. He also comes with a nice Triple-A track record, having compiled a 3.01 ERA with 10.5 K/9 against 4.5 BB/9 in parts of three seasons at that level.
Tampa Bay is deep in right-handed bullpen options, with Alex Colome, Brad Boxberger, Danny Farquhar, Shawn Tolleson and one of Matt Andriese or Erasmo Ramirez (whichever is not in the rotation) all likely to crack the big league ’pen to open the season. Beyond that, the Rays have a slew of right-handers already on the 40-man roster. Among the names from which they can choose are Kevin Gadea (a Rule 5 pick out of the Mariners organization), Ryan Garton, Ryne Stanek, Chase Whitley and Austin Pruitt, to name a few.