Rays release Mark Lowe despite impressive spring

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Mark Lowe has been fantastic this spring, throwing 10.1 innings with a 0.87 ERA and 12/1 K/BB ratio, but the Rays decided not to give him a spot in the Opening Day bullpen and granted the right-hander’s request to be released.

Lowe was injured and ineffective for the Angels last season, but for the Rangers in 2011 and 2012 he posted a combined 3.63 ERA with 70 strikeouts in 84 innings.

He signed with Tampa Bay on a minor-league deal in November and looked like a fairly typical Rays bounceback acquisition, so it’s curious that he’s not sticking after an impressive camp.

Rays acquire Wilmer Font from Athletics

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In a less-notable move on Friday, the Rays acquired right-hander Wilmer Font from the Athletics in exchange for minor league right-hander Peter Bayer. Font was designated for assignment by the A’s on Wednesday.

This is the second trade involving the righty since the start of the season. The Athletics acquired 28-year-old Font from the Dodgers in late April, but were underwhelmed by his performance after he racked up 11 runs, five home runs, four walks and nine strikeouts in his first 6 2/3 innings of relief. While the rookie has yet to prove himself at the big league level, he posted a much more respectable pitching line with the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate in 2017, going 10-8 in 25 starts with a 3.42 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 11.9 SO/9 in 134 1/3 innings. It’s still unclear whether the Rays intend to give him another opportunity in the majors this year or use him as depth in the minors.

Bayer, 24, is still a ways away from cracking any major league roster. He advanced to High-A Charlotte prior to the trade and allowed eight runs, two homers, six walks and six strikeouts in his first four innings.