The Tampa Bay Rays were comfortable with their bullpen even before reaching an agreement with free-agent right-hander Fernando Rodney.
The addition of Rodney, which likely will be announced Wednesday, would make the team’s bullpen that much deeper, enabling club officials to focus their remaining offseason efforts on offensive upgrades.
Rodney, 34, likely will pitch in a setup role for the Rays, or perhaps earlier in games. Righty Kyle Farnsworth is the team’s incumbent closer, and righty Joel Peralta is coming off an excellent season in the late innings.
Lefty J.P. Howell, meanwhile, will be a year removed from shoulder surgery, and the Rays like the respective upsides of righty Brandon Gomes, lefty Jake McGee and righty Burke Badenhop. Add Rodney, and manager Joe Maddon will have plenty of options.
The Rays offense, though, remains a work in progress.
The team has not re-signed free-agent first baseman Casey Kotchman or designated hitter Johnny Damon, creating openings at both positions. The open market features numerous possibilities, from Derrek Lee to Carlos Pena, Hideki Matsui to Vlad Guerrero. None is especially appealing.
Free agent Luke Scott, coming off major shoulder surgery, might be worth a gamble; the Rays have liked him in the past. The team also could acquire a bat by trading a right-handed starting pitcher, either Wade Davis or Jeff Niemann. Davis has greater value, both to the Rays and to other clubs.