Relief pitcher Jamey Wright has accepted his annual challenge, as the 38-year-old relief pitcher signed a minor league contract with the Rays on Tuesday, with an invitation to spring training. Wright will try to make a team for the eighth consecutive season as a non-roster invitee to spring training.
The Dodgers were the sixth team for Wright in a seven-year span. Here is a look at the minor league deals he has signed in years past:
- 2006: Giants
- 2007: Rangers (Wright was called up on Apr. 10, to start the eighth game of the season)
- 2008: Rangers
- 2009: Royals
- 2010: Indians
- 2011: Mariners
- 2012: Dodgers
- 2013: Rays
Wright found out last year in the final week of spring training that he made the Dodgers over John Grabow for the final spot in the bullpen. Fighting to make a club has been an annual tradition for Wright. "It gets more stressful, but it's exciting every time," he said last spring.
Wright was quite reliable for the Dodgers out of the bullpen in 2012, as he was the only relief pitcher to be on the active roster all season. Wright was 5-3 with a 3.72 ERA in 66 games, with 54 strikeouts and 23 unintentional walks in his 67⅔ innings.
He has been a ground ball machine since his permanent switch to the bullpen in 2007, and with the Dodgers last year Wright had a 67.3% ground ball rate, the second highest in the majors (to Brad Ziegler) among all relievers with at least 40 innings.
His 2012 was split into two halves:
- Home: 5-0, 1.71 ERA, 28 strikeouts, five unintentional walks
- Away: 0-3, 5.50 ERA, 26 strikeouts, 18 unintentional walks
Over the final two months of the season, Wright had just four unintentional walks in 29 appearances, and a 3.20 ERA.
At the end of the season, Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti expressed interest in retaining Wright, though noted it wasn't only up to him.
"It's a question for not just me, but other people," Colletti said. "We're open minded."