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Rays sign Kevin Jepsen to major-league deal

The reliever returns to the Rays after being dealt to Minnesota at last year’s trade deadline.

Texas Rangers v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images

The Rays are in agreement on a major-league contract with right-hander Kevin Jepsen, according to a baseball source. The deal is expected to be announced today or tomorrow.

Jepsen, 31, was recently designated for assignment and subsequently released by the Twins after posting a 6.16 ERA in 33 games this season.

Jepsen, who spent the first seven years of his career with the Angels, was traded to the Rays before the 2015 season and posted a 2.81 ERA in 46 appearances for Tampa Bay before being shipped to Minnesota for minor-leaguers Chih-Wei Hu and Alexis Tapia at last year’s trade deadline. He pitched well down the stretch for Minnesota last year, though the Rays were able to net a legitimate prospect in Hu for what amounts to a one-year loan of Jepsen.

The Rays are not a contender this year, but could use Jepsen to eat innings if they decide to trade some other relievers. Tampa Bay is known to be shopping many of its pitchers, so Jepsen could see many chances to re-establish value with free agency looming this winter.