The Rays have re-signed right-hander Andrew Kittredge to a new minor league deal, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports (Twitter link). Kittredge originally signed a minors contract with the Rays back in December, but chose to enact a March 15th opt-out clause contained in that prior deal. Topkin writes that this latest contract has another opt-out date “at end of camp” if Kittredge hasn’t been added to Tampa’s MLB roster.
Such procedural moves are pretty common this time of year, and we could see several such re-signings in the lead-up to Opening Day as various players reach their opt-out dates. Given that Kittredge’s opt-out wasn’t even made public back on March 15, it seems likely that there was never much chance of him actually leaving the organization, and that the two sides wanted to give each other more time.
A veteran of four big league seasons (all with Tampa Bay), Kittredge has a 3.90 ERA/3.48 SIERA, 50.6% ground-ball rate, and an above-average 25.3K% over 57 2/3 innings since the start of the 2019 season. The 31-year-old has mostly worked as a reliever, but also made a few “starts” as an opener with the Rays. A UCL sprain limited Kittredge to only eight innings in 2020, and he elected to become a free agent after the Rays put him on waivers after the season.