Eovaldi joins Rays at spring camp

Eovaldi joins Rays at spring camp

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Nathan Eovaldi had not been officially announced as a new addition to the Rays on Tuesday morning, but the unveiling of his locker next to Chris Archer spilled the beans.

Eovaldi, who turned 27 on Monday, is recovering from Tommy John surgery and will miss the 2017 season. The $2 million contract includes a $2 million club option for 2018.

Right-hander Eddie Gamboa was designated for assignment to make room on the Rays' 40-man roster.

Eovaldi was 9-8 with a 4.76 ERA in 24 games (21 starts) for the Yankees last season. He is 38-46 with a 4.21 ERA in 134 games (127 starts) in six seasons with the Dodgers, Marlins and Yankees.

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What led him to sign with the Rays?

"The background with the Rays' training staff and getting healthy, they have a really good [record] for getting guys back on the field," Eovaldi said. "... I've always heard about their training staff getting guys well from Tommy John. They were one of the teams that reached out and they wanted me to join the staff. Made the decision easy."

Eovaldi had his surgery in August, so he has just begun doing a "sock-throw program," which he has done three times, making 25 throws into a sock attached to his arm.

"And everything feels great," Eovaldi said. "I don't have any limitations of working out. ... There's no issues there. It's just taking it easy. I haven't had any issues whatsoever. No setbacks. It's just been a slow, steady process."

Eovaldi told reporters he'll likely play catch for the first time on Saturday.

.Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.