Ernesto Frieri joins Rays’ bullpen on one-year, $800K deal

Ernesto Frieri has 71 saves in six major league seasons.

Kirby Lee

 

Reliever Ernesto Frieri and the Tampa Bay Rays have agreed to an $800,000, one-year contract.

The 29-year-old right-hander was 1-4 with a 7.34 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 41-2/3 innings over 48 games this year for the Los Angeles Angels and Pittsburgh. He has a 10-13 record and 3.46 ERA in six big league seasons that included time with San Diego from 2009-12. He has averaged 12 strikeouts per nine innings.

Frieri, who had 37 saves as the Angels’ closer in 2013, can earn $1.1 million in performance bonuses for games: $50,000 for 30, $100,000 for 35, $150,000 each for 40 and 45, $200,000 apiece for 50 and 55 and $250,000 for 60.

He also can make $1.25 million based on games finished: $150,000 for 30, $200,000 for 35, $250,000 for 40, $300,000 for 45 and $350,000 for 50.

To clear a roster spot, the Rays designated infielder Sean Rodriguez for assignment. The 29-year-old, who was eligible for salary arbitration, hit .211 in 237 at-bats this year and set career highs with 12 homers and 41 RBI

Tampa Bay also released catcher Jose Molina and second baseman Cole Figueroa, who were designated for assignment last week. Molina is guaranteed $2.75 million for 2015.

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