Report: Rays sign Kevin Jepsen

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The Rays have signed reliever Kevin Jepsen to a major league deal, SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo reports. This will be Jepsen’s second stint with the Rays, as he pitched for the team last year until they traded him to the Twins at the deadline. The right-hander was released by the Twins on Monday, a week after he was designated for assignment.

Jepsen, 31, had a rough go of it with the Twins this year, leaving with a 6.16 ERA and a 22/12 K/BB ratio in 30 2/3 innings. The 34-54 Rays aren’t looking so much for talent as they are warm bodies to soak up innings.

The Rays will pay Jepsen the prorated portion of the major league minimum, $507,500. The Twins owe him the balance of his $5.3125 million salary for the 2016 season minus the Rays’ portion.

Rays moving spring camp due to damage caused by hurricane

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Rays are relocating their spring base for 2023 due to extensive damage to team training facilities caused by Hurricane Ian.

The Rays have trained since 2009 in Port Charlotte, Florida, about 90 minutes south of St. Petersburg, and intend to explore several options before making a decision on where to hold spring training and play Grapefruit League games when camp opens.

The team and Charlotte County released a joint statement Thursday, saying damage to Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte can’t be repaired in time to host games this winter.

“Charlotte County supports the Rays efforts to secure alternative accommodations for 2023 spring training,” the statement said.

“We are all disappointed for the residents of Charlotte County and the fans there. The community is in the thoughts and hearts of the Rays, and the team will continue to support recovery efforts,” the statement added. “The Rays and Charlotte County intend to develop a restoration plan for Charlotte Sports Park in the coming weeks.”