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Rays bring back Oviedo on one-year deal

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays added to their bullpen depth on Thursday by re-signing right-hander Juan Carlos Oviedo to a one-year deal.

Oviedo signed with the Rays prior to the 2013 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery to his right elbow, but he did not pitch this year.

"When we signed Juan Carlos last winter, we felt that when he returned to health he could play a key role in our bullpen in 2014," said Andrew Friedman, the Rays' executive vice president of baseball operations. "Observing his work ethic throughout the rehab process and getting to know him as a person has strengthened that feeling, and we're excited to have the chance to see this through."

The Rays will pay Oviedo $1.5 million, but it can escalate to $2.9 million with incentives.

If healthy, Oviedo will give the Rays another late-inning option out of the bullpen.

The Rays acquired veteran closer Heath Bell in a trade with the D-backs, and they also have Jake McGee and Joel Peralta as late-inning options.

Oviedo, 31, is the pitcher formerly known as Leo Nunez. He last pitched in the Major Leagues in 2011, when he saved 36 games for the Marlins.

He saved 92 games in three years with the Marlins.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for

Tampa Bay Rays, Juan Carlos Oviedo