Tony Sipp released by Padres, signs with Astros

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Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune reports that the Padres have granted left-hander Tony Sipp’s request for a release so that he can sign a big-league deal with the Astros.

Sipp signed a minor-league contract with the Padres during spring training and has been pitching at Triple-A, where he’s thrown 15 innings with a 4.30 ERA and 21/2 K/BB ratio.

Sipp has always been a useful middle reliever, logging 258 innings with a 3.84 ERA and more than a strikeout per inning for the Indians and Diamondbacks. He’s typically been similarly effective versus righties and lefties, so the 30-year-old southpaw isn’t strictly a specialist.

The Rays announce “The Rays Tank.” Really.

Tampa Bay Rays
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Earlier this offseason the Rays traded away franchise player Evan Longoria. Over the weekend they traded starter Jake Odorizzi to the Twins and designated All-Star outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment. These were clearly financially driven moves, and now the Rays sport a payroll of less than $70 million. The club’s offseason moves prompted Longoria to say that he feels sorry for Rays fans.

If you asked Rays brass, I’m sure they’d make strong statements defending all of these moves while offering evidence-light arguments that, yes, they truly are interested in fielding a competitive team in 2018. They would likely react VERY angrily to any suggestion that they are tanking this year. Teams never admit that they’re tanking.

In other news, the Rays announced a new blog:

Oh.