The Rays have struck a minor-league deal with righty Dustin McGowan, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times (via Twitter). He’ll receive an invitation to MLB camp and would earn a $1.5MM salary in the majors, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today (via Twitter).
Soon to turn 36, the former first-round pick has spent the past two campaigns with the Marlins. He posted a notable bounceback effort in 2016 but stumbled in last year.
To be fair, McGowan did still managed to handle 77 2/3 frames over 63 appearances, so he’s still capable of bearing a substantial load. But he had a tough season in the results department, posting a 4.75 ERA with 7.4 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9.
Despite carrying a typically solid 50.9% groundball rate last year, McGowan coughed up 13 home runs. He also lost some velocity after showing career-best rates in 2016, but still averaged over 94 with both his four and two-seam fastballs.
In the aggregate, it seems McGowan will have his work cut out to earn a shot on the Opening Day roster. At a minimum, he’ll have a chance to establish position on the overall reliever depth chart. It’s worth remembering that there could yet be some added opportunities in Tampa Bay depending upon how the rest of the offseason unfolds.