Chris Ray was Baltimore's closer in 2006-07 before undergoing Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery, and on Tuesday, he took the first step toward trying to reclaim that job.
According to multiple reports, Ray, who turned 27 on Monday, signed a one-year deal with the club for $850,000, avoiding arbitration.
Ray had Tommy John surgery on Aug. 16, 2007, after making his mark for the Orioles with 33 saves in '06. The right-hander saved 16 games in '07 before the surgery ended his campaign. He is 10-13 with 49 saves and a 3.20 ERA in 145 games with Baltimore.
If healthy, Ray could compete for the closer job against George Sherrill, who manned the role last year and saved 31 games.
Ray's contract also includes the following incentives: $50,000 for making the American League All-Star team; $100,000 for winning the Cy Young Award and $50,000 for placing second or third in the Cy Young voting; $50,000 for a Gold Glove; $50,000 for League Championship Series Most Valuable Player; $50,000 for World Series MVP; $100,000 for Comeback Player of the Year; and $150,000 for Team Leader in Rolaids Relief Man Award voting.
Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.