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Rays close to signing Hunter, possibly Wilson to bolster bullpen.

Before workouts began on Thursday morning, it was reported that the Rays are close to signing former Baltimore Orioles pitcher, Tommy Hunter, to a minor league deal to help bolster the bullpen.

Hunter, 30, spent six of his nine years in MLB with the Orioles as both a starter and bullpen arm. In 2016, he split time between Baltimore and Cleveland posting a 2-2 record with a 3.18 ERA in 33 games. For his career, he is 48-35 with a 4.26 ERA in 317 games, 75 of them as a starter. Hunter began his career with the Texas Rangers back in 2008 before heading to Baltimore from 2011-2016 with a cup of coffee in Chicago with the Cubs in 2015 as well as Baltimore.

Other rumors circulating are that the Rays are also interested in bringing in once dominant NL closer, Brian Wilson.

Wilson, who will be 35 next month, hasn’t been in the league since 2014 when he was finishing a two-year stint in Los Angeles with the Dodgers. Many remember Wilson for being the animated closer for the San Francisco Giants from 2006-2012 where he led the NL in saves in 2010 with 48 and got Cy Young consideration that year. The three-time All Star is hoping to return to baseball as a knuckleballer.

NOTES:

  • 3B Evan Longoria and minor-league OF Rickie Weeks are the only two who have yet to report to camp. Friday is the official reporting day for the full squad.
  • On Wednesday, RHP Jose De Leon (back tightness) and RHP Erasmo Ramirez (hamstring) did not throw their bullpens but injuries aren’t said to be serious.

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