ST. PETERSBURG -- Free agents Luke Scott and Kyle Farnsworth appear to be headed back to the Rays for the 2013 season.
Neither deal is expected to be finalized until next week, and the club has yet to confirm or comment on the signings.
Scott, who played almost exclusively as a designated hitter in 2012, missed a lot of time last season due to injuries. After the season he expressed disappointment in what he was able to produce -- a .229 batting average with 14 homers and 55 RBIs, while playing in just 96 games. He also expressed a desire to return to the Rays, even though they did not pick up his option for 2013. Now, the situation appears to have come full circle.
A new contract for Scott could have big upside for the Rays given the circumstances of his 2012 season.
Scott came to the Rays fresh off right-shoulder surgery, which prevented him from full offseason workouts. Former Rays right-hander James Shields -- who shares the same agent as Scott -- said last week he heard Scott was killing it in the gym this offseason and hopes to return to full form in 2013.
Scott could not be reached by phone Thursday, but he did text the following: "I am in California training. I will be unavailable for the next few days. I have to get back in the gym. Talk to you later. Have a blessed day."
Farnsworth is reported to have signed a one-year Major League contract -- worth as much as $3 million if he reaches the incentives in the deal, which is pending a physical.
Farnsworth served as the Rays' closer in 2011 and notched 25 saves while compiling a 5-1 record with a 2.18 ERA in 63 appearances. Fernando Rodney took over the closer role in 2012 after Farnsworth began the season on the disabled list with a right elbow problem.
Farnsworth eventually returned to the team, but he did not return to the closer role. He finished with a 1-6 record and a 4.00 ERA in 34 appearances.
Besides Tampa Bay, Milwaukee had been rumored to be Farnsworth's most serious pursuer.
With Farnsworth back in the fold, the Rays will head to Spring Training with the potential to have another solid bullpen. In addition to Farnsworth, the relief corps will include Rodney, Joel Peralta, Jake McGee, Cesar Ramos, Brandon Gomes and Dane De La Rosa. Newly signed right-handers Jamey Wright, Juan Carlos Oviedo and Juan Sandoval could also factor into the bullpen. Each was signed to a Minor League deal with a Spring Training invitation to Major League camp.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less