Tampa Bay Rays Sign Reliever Michael Kohn to Major League Deal


May 16, 2014; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher

Michael Kohn

pitches during the eighth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The yearly rebuild of the Tampa Bay Rays’ bullpen is already in full swing.

The Rays announced they have signed right-handed reliever Michael Kohn to a one-year major league deal.

Kohn has spent his entire professional career with the Angels after being a 13th round pick (409th overall) in the 2008 draft. In four seasons, Kohn is 5-6 with a 3.67 ERA in 110.1 innings pitched. He averages 8.7 strikeouts and six walks per nine innings.

In 2014, he pitched just 23 innings going 2-1 with a 3.04 ERA in 25 appearances. However, he averaged 9.9 K’s per nine innings but walked nearly a batter an inning highlighting the fact that he has a dominant, but wild arm.

The 28-year-old missed the entire 2012 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Kohn became a free agent on Sept. 8 after choosing free agency over a demotion to the minors. He made $515,000 last season.

The Rays bullpen in 2015 will likely once again be made up of a cast of different characters. Grant Balfour is under contract however, as are Brad Boxberger, Kirby Yates, Jeff Beliveau and C.J. Riefenhauser.

Brandon Gomes, Jake McGee and Cesar Ramos are all arbitration eligible. The Rays have a $2.5 million team option on Joel Peralta.

McGee will more than likely go into the season as the closer with Boxberger tossing the eighth leaving Kohn as an option for relief leading up to that situation if the Rays are in a winning position.