Rays Sign Four to Minor League Contracts

The Tampa Bay Rays have signed four players to minor league contracts, each with an invitation to major league spring training:  outfielder Jesus Feliciano, infielder Will Rhymes and right-handed pitchers Romulo Sanchez and Matt Torra.

Feliciano, 32, combined to bat .268 (114-for-425) with 39 RBI at Binghamton (AA) and Buffalo (AAA) in the New York Mets organization last season.  After 12 seasons in the minors, the outfielder served his first and only stint in the major leagues in 2010 with the Mets when he played 54 games as a replacement for Jason Bay while he was on the disabled list.  He played for Puerto Rico in the 2009 World Baseball Classic and previously played in the Rays farm system from 2003-04, reaching as high as Montgomery (AA).  He has a .283 career average over 14 seasons in the minors.

Rhymes, 28, was the Detroit Tigers Opening Day second baseman last season.  He split the season between the Tigers and Toledo (AAA), batting .235 (20-for-85) in 29 games over three different major league stints and .306 (124-for-405) in 104 games at Triple-A.  In 2010 he spent the second half of the season with the Tigers and batted .304 (58-for-191) in 54 games after his call-up on July 25.  The left-handed hitter has compiled a career .291 batting average and 138 stolen bases over seven minor league seasons.

Sanchez, 27, spent the 2011 season playing for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of the Japan Pacific League where he posted a 4.96 ERA (16.1-IP, 9-ER) in 15 appearances and was teammates with former Rays infielder Akinori Iwamura.  The righthander has compiled a 4.04 ERA in 28 relief appearances over three major league seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates (2007-08) and New York Yankees (2010).  He has a 32-25 record with a 4.09 ERA over seven seasons in the minors.

Torra, 27, re-signs with the Rays after going 5-1 with a 3.67 ERA (61.1-IP, 25-ER) in 11 starts for Durham (AAA) after being acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks on July 1 last season in exchange for cash considerations.  Starting in August, the righty went 5-0 with a 1.94 ERA (37-IP, 8-ER) and only three walks over his final six starts.  He was originally selected by the Diamondbacks in the first round (31st overall) of the 2005 June Draft and has compiled a 52-45 record with a 4.46 ERA over seven minor league seasons.