The Rays are signing reliever Jaime Schultz to a minor league deal, tweets Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. He’ll be in big league camp as a non-roster invitee.
Schultz has plenty of familiarity with the Tampa Bay organization. He began his professional career as a Rays draftee in 2013. Within a few seasons, he garnered some prospect attention as a potential high-leverage bullpen arm. That hasn’t materialized, as Schultz has battled scattershot command and injuries that have kept him from establishing himself in an MLB relief unit.
The High Point product pitched at the highest level in 2018-19, with the first of those seasons spent in Tampa Bay. He made 22 appearances for the Rays and four more as a Dodger the following season. Between the two clubs, he’s posted a 5.86 ERA across 35 1/3 MLB innings. Schultz struck out roughly 26% of opponents while averaging around 95 MPH on his fastball. That came with an alarming 13.6% walk percentage, leading Los Angeles to outright him off their roster towards the end of the 2019 season.
Schultz has signed minor league deals with the A’s and Mariners in recent years but been limited to five combined Triple-A outings since 2020. He didn’t sign with any team for 2022 but returns to the affiliated ranks this year. He’ll add a live arm to the upper levels of the Rays’ minor league system. Schultz figures to open the season with Triple-A Durham. He’s out of option years, so he’d have to stick on the active roster or be made available to other teams if he earns a call-up at any point.