The Rays have announced the signing of reliever Shawn Tolleson to a one-year, $1 million contract. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times first reported the sides were close to a deal.
Tolleson, who turns 29 this month, was outrighted and subsequently non-tendered by the Rangers earlier in the offseason after struggling to a 7.68 ERA, 7.2 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 in 36.1 innings with the club last season. The struggles were surprising coming off Tolleson’s extremely strong 2015 campaign, in which he finished tenth in AL Cy Young voting after posting a 2.99 ERA and saving 35 games while making 73 appearances for Texas.
Texas had interest in a reunion with Tolleson on a minor-league deal, though the Rays’ willingness to give the righty a guaranteed roster spot may have given them the edge. Tolleson will likely serve as a back-end option alongside Alex Colome, Brad Boxberger and Danny Farquhar in Tampa Bay’s bullpen, with Colome likely to resume his role as the club’s closer.
Tolleson is a veteran of five major-league seasons with the Dodgers (2012-13) and Rangers (2014-16), and owns a lifetime 14-8 record and 3.92 ERA in 215 relief appearances.