The Rays have claimed reliever Ralph Garza off waivers from the Red Sox, tweets Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. They’ve also selected reliever Chris Mazza onto the Opening Day roster. To create 40-man roster space, Brendan McKay and Pete Fairbanks have been placed on the 60-day injured list.
Boston claimed Garza off waivers themselves a couple weeks ago, but their subsequent attempt to pass him through waivers came up empty. The 28-year-old made his big league debut last season, splitting the year between the Astros and Twins. He tossed 30 1/3 innings over 27 outings, pitching to a 3.56 ERA despite slightly worse than average strikeout and walk rates (22.8% and 11%, respectively).
Garza still has a pair of minor league option years remaining, and the Rays have already sent him to Triple-A Durham. He’ll serve as a depth option for a bullpen that now includes Mazza. The 32-year-old pitched in 14 games for Tampa Bay last season, posting a 4.61 ERA. He only punched out 18.8% of opponents, but he dished out walks at just a 6.3% clip. The Rays outrighted Mazza but brought him back on a minor league deal this winter, and he’ll again crack the big league roster.
McKay has been plagued by injuries for the past few years. He’s made just seven minor league appearances since 2019, as he required shoulder surgery in 2020 and suffered a forearm strain last year. McKay underwent thoracic outlet surgery last November. That wasn’t expected to affect his readiness for this season, but he’s apparently not recovered and will be out of action until at least early June again. Fairbanks has a partially torn lat and might not pitch until after the All-Star Break.
Jon Heyman of the MLB Network reported Mazza’s forthcoming promotion this morning.