PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Chris Gimenez almost signed with the Pirates before the Rays brought him into the fold on Feb. 16, when they signed the catcher to a Minor League deal with an invitation to Spring Training.
"Tampa Bay came in and I felt like I had a better opportunity over here, so I decided to jump on it," Gimenez said.
Gimenez, who has played in 97 Major League games in parts of three seasons with the Indians and Mariners, explained why he felt like Tampa Bay was the best opportunity for him.
"They told me when I came in that the backup job is wide open," Gimenez said, "and the fact that I'm really versatile is a big plus."
Gimenez said he can play first base, third, left field and right, while adding, "Whatever you want."
Gimenez also liked the idea of playing for a winning team.
"That's a big thing, too, a chance to get to the playoffs," Gimenez said. "That's something I've never had before -- last year with Seattle and Cleveland two years before that. I kind of went through the worst with both of those. Really, it's just a good opportunity to come in and play for Joe [Maddon] and have fun doing it. These guys have a ton of fun and they do really well. And that's really enticing for a young guy like me."