Free agent reliever Luis Ayala has received interest from the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, Kansas City Royals, Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles and Philadelphia Phillies, a source has confirmed to MLB Daily Dish. His camp is still in the process of reaching out to potential fits, so other teams may jump into the race in the near future.
Ayala is in search of a two-year deal, and teams are currently in the process of requesting medicals and doing initial background work. He has not yet received any offers, and teams have suggested that they are likely to wait until later in the offseason to address their middle relief needs even though Ayala's camp has expressed a desire to get a deal done before the end of the month.
Ayala, who turns 36 in January, posted a 2-1 record and 3.27 ERA in 39 relief appearances with the Orioles and Braves in 2013. He was shipped to Atlanta on April 10 after appearing in two games for Baltimore, and posted a 2.90 ERA in 37 appearances for the Braves for the remainder of the season.
Ayala was sidelined for over two months with what the Braves called an anxiety disorder, but the source noted that a stomach virus was the cause of Ayala's strength problems. He lost strength due to the virus, and spent his rehab time building up arm strength in hopes of returning to the team for the stretch run.
In nine major league seasons with the Expos/Nationals (2003-2005, 2007-2008), Mets (2008), Twins (2009), Marlins (2009), Yankees (2011), Orioles (2012-2013) and Braves (2013), Ayala is the owner of a lifetime 38-47 record with a 3.34 ERA in 534 relief appearances. He has been a consistent ground-ball pitcher throughout his career, and has shown improvement over his last three seasons with New York, Baltimore and Atlanta.
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