Friday, December 5, 2008

Rays sign three minor leaguers

The Rays made a couple of minor news Friday, signing right-handed pitcher Jason Childers, right-handed pitcher Jeremy Cummings and outfielder/first baseman Chris Richard to minor league contracts with invites to major league spring training.

Childers, 33, was an International League midseason All-Star in 2008 for Triple A Charlotte, an affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. He went 4-2 with a 1.22 ERA, converted all 17 save chances, and held opponents to a .167 average. Childers’ only major league experience came with the Rays in 2006, when he made five relief appearances.

Cummings, 32, spent the 2008 season with Durham (AAA) where he went 8-3 with a 2.87 ERA and was an IL All-Star. He won a bronze medal as part of the United States Olympic baseball team in Beijing, compiling a 1.80 ERA in 5.0 innings of relief. He pitched briefly for a professional team in Taiwan before signing with the Rays on May 12.

Richard, 34, spent the entire 2008 season with Durham, hitting .293 with 26 home runs and 88 RBI. The left-handed hitter led the Rays organization with 26 home runs (third in the IL) and led the Bulls in RBI. Richard was named an IL All-Star and was the Rays Minor League Player of the Month in May. He has compiled a .258 average with 34 homers and 122 RBI in parts of four major league seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals (2000), Baltimore Orioles (2000-‘02) and Colorado Rockies (2003).

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