Felipe Lopez Signs With Rays On Minor League Contract

In a move that'll bring a little extra competition to Spring Training, the Tampa Bay Rays have signed veteran infielder Felipe Lopez to a minor league contract with an ST invite.

Lopez stands to earn $1 million if he breaks camp on the roster, and he'll have the chance to earn more money by reaching some incentives. The Red Sox - Lopez's previous employer - hoped to add a compensation draft pick when Lopez signed elsewhere as a free agent, but because he's signing a minor league deal rather than a Major League contract, no pick will be gained.

The 30-year-old Lopez is a career .266 batter, with a .336 OBP. He had a strong 2009 that was bookended by a poor 2008 and 2010, but he's capable of holding his own at each position around the infield, and he comes with just enough offensive upside to be worth a gamble. It's expected that he'll compete with youngster Elliot Johnson for the Rays' backup infielder job, and if Lopez is feeling motivated, he could be a real asset off the bench.

For more, check out our Rays blog, DRays Bay.

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