Chris Mazza announces his return to the Tampa Bay Rays

Jul 31, 2021; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Chris Mazza (15) throws against the Boston Red Sox in the ninth inning at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 31, 2021; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Chris Mazza (15) throws against the Boston Red Sox in the ninth inning at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports /
facebooktwitterreddit

Chris Mazza, who has seen action for three different teams over the last three seasons, including the Tampa Bay Rays in 2021, has announced on Twitter that he has inked a deal with the Rays for the 2022 season.

In his announcement, Mazza did not give any details about his contract. However, since it was revealed during the current Major League Baseball lockout, it’s likely that the 32-year-old right-hander signed a minor league deal with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Chris Mazza’s return to the Tampa Bay Rays organization will provide the franchise with bullpen depth

Traded by the Boston Red Sox to Tampa Bay prior to the 2021 season, Mazza saw action in 14 games last season for the Rays, throwing 27.1 innings and posting a 4.61 ERA, 4.05 FIP, and 1.207 WHIP. Bouncing back and forth between Tampa Bay and Triple-A Durham, Mazza earned his first career save on August 27 at Baltimore by hurling three innings and allowing two hits, including a solo home run.

Last season was the second consecutive year that Mazza has had trouble with the long ball, giving up just under one home run every nine innings in both campaigns. That includes a 2020 with the Red Sox where he appeared in nine games and logged 30 innings. He gave up 34 hits in those 30 innings and walked 15 while striking out 29.

A 27th-round draft pick of the Minnesota Twins in the 2011 MLB draft, Mazza made his MLB debut with the New York Mets on June 29, 2019, throwing four innings in relief of starter Steven Matz. He would follow that with outings of 1.2 and 2.0 innings for the Mets, showing his ability to be a long reliever and provide a team with multiple innings.

Next. What is on Tampa Bay's post-lockout to-do list?. dark

One thing to note is that Mazza is out of minor league options, meaning if he breaks camp with the Rays following spring training, he will need to stay on the active roster throughout the season.