Rays bring back Scott on one-year contract

Rays bring back Scott on one-year contract

ST. PETERSBURG -- Luke Scott wasn't happy with the results from his first season with the Rays. Now he'll have the chance for a do-over as he has re-signed with the team on a one-year deal worth $2.75 million.

"Last year was definitely a year full of adversity and difficult times," said Scott on a Wednesday night conference call. "But I didn't give up, I kept pushing through it. I did the best I could. Things didn't work out the way I'd hoped and prepared for, but at the same time, I'm really thankful for another opportunity to see fruit from my labor and put up the same numbers that I have in the past. So I'm really excited about that right now."

News that the Rays were going to sign Scott broke last week, but the club did not officially announce the deal until Wednesday. To make room for Scott on the 40-man roster, Tampa Bay designated for assignment right-hander Dane De La Rosa.

After two trips to the disabled list that caused Scott to miss 45 games in 2012, he finished with a .229 batting average, 14 homers and 55 RBIs. Back in October, the Rays elected to buy out the final year of Scott's two-year deal by paying him $1 million rather than exercising the $6 million team option for 2013.

Scott said that he had "quite a few offers" from other teams and that he "was definitely blessed," but "at the end of the day, it's my decision where I go as far as what offers come to me" and Tampa Bay came up his choice.

"I'm a man of prayer, I'm a man of faith, and any major decision I make in my life I take time, get alone with the Lord and have him guide and direct my footsteps, so when it comes time for decision making, I weigh my options and I wait for when I have a peace about something, and it becomes very simple at that point," Scott said. "I feel good with my decisions after that, and that's basically how it shook down this season and last season and the season before. And that's how I roll, so to speak."

Given the circumstances of Scott's 2012 season, re-signing him has potentially a large upside.

Scott, 34, came to the Rays fresh from right shoulder surgery, which prevented him from having his full offseason workouts heading into the season. Former Tampa Bay hurler James Shields, who shares the same agent as Scott, recently said he'd heard that Scott was killing it in the gym and hoped to return to full form in 2013.

Scott said his weight is up, in a good way, and he is healthy following a stringent offseason regimen, which included hitting tips from his friend, former Major Leaguer Orlando Palmeiro, who helped him with his mechanics. From listening to Scott, it is clear he expects to turn things around in his second season with the Rays.

Scott will primarily be used as the team's designated hitter and he could see action in the field depending on the progress of his repaired shoulder. Scott played in six games at first base in 2012.

De La Rosa, 30, spent most of the 2012 season as the closer for Triple-A Durham, where he recorded 20 saves. He had two stints with Tampa Bay, going 0-0 with a 12.60 ERA in five games.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.