Rays sign Dustin McGowan to minor league deal

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After re-signing Sergio Romo to a one-year deal on Friday, the Rays continued to deepen their bullpen reserves with fellow free agent right-hander Dustin McGowan. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that McGowan has agreed to a minor league deal, which includes an invitation to spring training.

McGowan, 35, completed a two-year stint with the Marlins in 2017. He didn’t have the most productive season, skidding to a 4.75 ERA, 3.1 BB/9, 7.4 SO/9 and -0.3 fWAR in 77 2/3 innings, but proved capable of shouldering a heavy workload and extended an impressive four-year streak without a trip to the disabled list.

The righty is poised to enter camp with right-handed relievers Nathan Eovaldi, Chih-Wei Hu, Austin Pruitt, Jaime Schultz and Ryne Stanek. There’s still some uncertainty surrounding the exact configuration of the bullpen; as MLB.com’s Bill Chastain noted earlier this week, the Rays expect Eovaldi to compete for a rotation spot in 2018 and could look to righties Andrew Kittredge, Chaz Roe and Hunter Wood for additional support. While he may not be the sub-3.00 ERA hurler of years past, McGowan could provide a stabilizing veteran presence to a young bullpen, one that might be facing the departure of established closer Alex Colome later this year.