Rays sign Ernesto Frieri to incentive-laden contract

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Tampa Bay is always looking for cheap bullpen options with upside and their latest scrap-heap pickup is Ernesto Frieri, signing the former Angels closer to a one-year deal worth $800,000 in guaranteed money and another $2.35 million in potential incentives.

Frieri was a mess this season, getting traded by the Angels and then released by the Pirates on the way to posting a 7.34 ERA in 42 innings.

However, his 48/14 K/BB ratio remained strong and from 2010-2013 he threw 229 innings with a 2.79 ERA and 12.3 strikeouts per nine innings. It’s possible that Frieri went from top-notch reliever to totally washed up in one year, but for $800,000 it certainly makes sense for the Rays to find out if the pre-2014 version can be resurrected.