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Rays sign Avisail Garcia to 1-year deal

Tampa Bay brings in right-handed bat to add to its bench.

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Baltimore Orioles Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Rays have signed outfielder Avisail Garcia to a one-year, $3.5 million deal, according to Jon Heyman of Fancred.

As Heyman points out, Mark Feinsand of first reported the $3.5 million that Garcia will automatically get in the deal. Garcia can earn up to $6 million this year if he reaches all his contract incentives.

In addition, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic first reported that the two sides were close on a deal.

Garcia had a tough time in 2018 following a breakout All-Star campaign in which he slashed .330/.380/.506 with 18 home runs and 80 RBI in 561 plate appearances. The 27-year-old right-handed hitter played only 93 games, slashing 236/.281/.438 with 19 homers and 49 RBI. However, he missed a lot of time due to hamstring and knee issues.

The Rays are taking a chance on Garcia, a .271 career hitter in seven seasons in the majors, in hopes he can give them some pop off the bench with his bat since he is also a below-average outfielder defensively. Currently, the Rays have a quality defensive outfield group in Tommy Pham, Kevin Kiermaier and Austin Meadows, but Garcia gives them depth they could use in case Pham (groin and finger injuries), Kiermaier (thumb injury, fractured hip, broken hand) or Meadows (hamstring and oblique injuries) get hurt again.