Tampa Bay Rays Sign Neil Wagner to Rare Contract


Apr 12, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Neil Wagner (45) throws in the seventh inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The Orioles defeated the Blue Jays 2-1 in twelve innings. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Rays have signed pitcher Neil Wagner to a two-year minor league deal.

Of course, a two-year minor league deal is extremely rare but the Rays won’t have Wagner at their disposal until 2016.

Wagner underwent Tommy John surgery last month so he will spend all of 2015 rehabbing. He will then be invited to Spring Training in 2016 as he attempts to make the Rays’ bullpen.

The 30-year-old has spent the past two seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays. In 10 games this year, Wagner had an ERA of 8.10 in only 10 innings of work. He struck out just six and walked four.

While a two-year minor league deal is very rare, it’s actually the second time in recent memory the Rays have done this.

They signed Juan Carlos Oviedo to such a deal in 2012 and he missed the entire 2013 season. He pitched in 32 games for the Rays in 2014 going 3-3 with a 3.69 ERA before being released in August.

Wagner has also pitched for the Oakland Athletics. For his career he is 2-4 with a 4.92 ERA in 52 games.