Diamondbacks sign Tom Wilhelmsen to minor league deal

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The Diamondbacks have signed free agent right-handed reliever Tom Wilhelmsen to a minor league deal, per a team announcement on Friday. The contract comes with an invitation to spring training.

Wilhelmsen was released by the Mariners in November. The 33-year-old split his 2016 run between the Rangers and Mariners, pitching to a combined 6.80 ERA, 3.7 BB/9 and 5.4 SO/9 that reflected a tough stretch in Texas during the first half of the season. His career stats should give the Diamondbacks some reassurance, however, as the righty carries a 3.46 ERA, 4.0 BB/9 and 8.1 SO/9 through six years in the majors. He peaked in Seattle during the 2012 season, putting up a career-best 1.6 fWAR for the club after ousting fellow right-hander Brandon League from the closer’s spot.

Wilhelmsen figures to be in the mix for another major league gig this spring. Many of the Diamondback’s bullpen spots appear to be up for grabs behind right-handers Jake Barrett and Randall Delgado and closer Fernando Rodney, though the team has no shortage of short-term options to consider.

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.”