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Opportunity knocks for Wright to join bullpen

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Tampa Bay has historically been a place where veteran relievers could go to find a job and thrive. One of this year's candidates in Rays camp is Jamey Wright.

"Their history here, there's been several veteran guys come in and contribute pretty big time," Wright said. "For me, it's an opportunity to come in and I'm not worried about making the team or doing anything, I worried about getting myself ready to go for another season. And that's all I think about right now. If I throw the ball the way I know how, the way I'm capable of, there will be an opportunity here or somewhere else."

Wright, 38, is a 17-year Major League veteran who has a 4.89 ERA over 592 career appearances (246 starts). In 2012, he went 5-3 with a 3.72 ERA in 66 relief outings for the Dodgers. He transitioned to a full-time role in the bullpen in 2008 and has compiled a 4.15 ERA in 357 2/3 innings since then, the second-most relief innings in the Majors in that span.

Wright brings a seasoned, veteran voice to the team and he's ready to assume any role.

"I've had to come in and eat up two or three innings and I've come in and throw one pitch, get a ground ball and get two outs," Wright said. "Down [in the bullpen], unless you're Fernando Rodney or one of the guys who knows when they are pitching, it's kind of an attitude of be ready for anything. It's fun and games down there for the first few innings, but then once that certain inning hits, it's time to lock it in and get ready to go and not be caught off guard.

"That's what I try to tell all the young guys, make sure your preparation is the same every day, so when that phone rings, that's the fun part. That's the fun time. We've already done all of our preparation to get ready for what we need to do."

Wright was a first-round selection by the Rockies in the 1993 First-Year Player Draft. He has also played for the Brewers, Cardinals, Royals, Giants, Rangers, Indians and Mariners.