Free agent left-hander J.P. Howell would like to return to the Tampa Bay Rays, but is also receiving interest from "a handful" of other teams, reports Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times:
LHP J.P. Howell, who would like to return, said there are "a handful" of teams interested and wasn't sure how quickly a decision will come.
Topkin adds that the Los Angeles Angels – who are on the hunt for bullpen help – may be one of the teams in that handful.
Howell, 29, has spent the last five years in the Tampa Bay Rays organization but missed the entire 2010 season with a labrum tear in his throwing shoulder. The left-hander has put up solid numbers in each season with the Rays except for his injury-shortened 2011, when he posted a 6.16 ERA in just over thirty innings.
Overall, in his four mostly healthy seasons in St. Petersburg, Howell owns a 3.08 ERA and 9.1 K/9 rate in two hundred thirty-seven innings.