Pitchers, Catchers Gets Spring Workouts Underway

PORT CHARLOTTE (620 WDAE) -- The Tampa Bay Rays got their series of spring workouts started at their Spring Training facility in Port Charlotte, with pitchers throwing their first series of bullpen sessions to get ready for Grapefruit League games.

Manager Kevin Cash has said in the past that he doesn't put a lot of stock into these early sessions on the back fields of Charlotte Sports Park, but said after Tuesday first session that Rule 5 pickup Kevin Gadea caught his eye.

"I think given his situation, there's not many peoplein baseball that go through that," Cash said of the reliever.  "For a young pitcher watching him throw his bullpen, he just seemed very under control, filled up the strike zone, and you never know what he's thinking.  In fairness to him, he's probably thinking that every pitch he throws is being analyzed.  It's really not, but I can imagine the thoughts going through his head."

Catcher Wilson Ramos, coming off of ACL surgery, is the only catcher yet to report to camp.  Cash said that Ramos was dealing with a family issue, and the team expects him to be in Port Charlotte Wednesday.

Listen to more of the conversation with Cash below!

ODORIZZI GETS SECOND ARBITRATION WIN: After never losing an arbitartion case under Andrew Friedman, the Rays have now dropped two arbitration cases in as many years.

Starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi learned Tuesday that he has won his case against the team, meaning that he will earn the $4.1 million dollars he requested instead of the $3.825 million the team offered.

"Kind of overjoyed," Odorizzi said.  "It's good to get the verdict [we wanted].  We worked really hard on the case, and worked hard in the three, four seasons leading up to it.

Odorizzi joins left-hander Drew Smyly, who won his case last offseason,  as the only players to prevail over the team since Stuart Sternberg became principal owner following the 2005 season.

The 26-year-old pointed out that the win will help his foundation, plus give him the ability to have a more lavish Valentine's Day.

"Our celebration with my wife and son will be a little bit bigger,"  he joked.  "I'm don't know with what, but it'll be a little extra special this year for sure."

Listen to more with Jake Odorizzi below!

EOVALDI OFFICIALLY SIGNED: Tampa Bay made the signing of RHP Nathan Eovaldi official Tuesday, signing him to a one-year major league contract worth $2 million and a club option for 2018 that could be worth as much as $5.8 million.

Eovaldi, who is 38-46 with a 4.21 earned run average in six big-league seasons, is not expected to play in 2017 after undergoing Tommy John surgery and also having his right flexor tendon repaired last August while a member of the New York Yankees.

Eovaldi went 23-11 in his two seasons in the Bronx.

To make room on the 40-man roster, RHP Eddie Gamboa was designated for assignment.  Gamboa was then traded Tuesday afternoon to the Texas Rangers in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations.

Hear from Eovaldi below!

COMING UP WEDNESDAY: The team will have its second workout of pitchers and catchers, with pitchers Chris Archer, Brad Boxberger, Alex Colome, Erasmo Ramirez, and Jose DeLeon among those throwing a bullpen for the first time.  The workout will begin at approximately 10:30 at Charlotte Sports Park, and last about 90 minutes.

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