(via Tampa Bay Rays Communications) - The Tampa Bay Rays have signed free agent right-handed pitchers Collin McHugh and Chaz Roe to one-year contracts for the 2021 season. To make room on the 40-man roster, right-handed pitchers Yonny Chirinos (recovery from Tommy John surgery) and Oliver Drake (right flexor tendon strain) were placed on the 60-day injured list.
McHugh, 33, opted out of the 2020 season after signing a one-year, incentive-laden contract with the Boston Red Sox during spring training. He was recovering from a flexor strain in his right arm at the time of the COVID-19 shutdown.
McHugh has spent parts of eight seasons in the majors with the New York Mets (2012-13), Colorado Rockies (2013) and Houston Astros (2014-19). He is 58-43 with a 3.95 ERA (800.2-IP, 351-ER) in 210 career appearances (119 starts). Over the 2018-19 seasons, he pitched primarily out of the bullpen, going 7-3 with a 2.21 ERA (106-IP, 26-ER) and 134 strikeouts in 85 relief appearances over that span. Since 2018, his 2.21 ERA is the third-lowest among major league relievers (min. 100 IP) behind Kirby Yates (2.04) of the San Diego Padres and Liam Hendriks (2.11) of the Oakland Athletics.
As a starter, McHugh reached double-digit wins in three consecutive seasons from 2014-16, going 43-26 with a 3.71 ERA (543-IP, 224-ER) over that span. In 2015, he finished eighth in American League Cy Young Award voting. He ranked second in the AL with a career-high 19 wins, one shy of teammate and Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel. In 2014, he finished fourth in AL Rookie of the Year voting. Min. 100 IP, his 2.73 ERA led AL rookies and ranked second among major league rookies behind Jacob deGrom (2.69) of the New York Mets. He tied for fourth among major league rookies with 11 wins and ranked third with 157 strikeouts, which also ranked third for a rookie in Astros history.
McHugh was selected by the Mets in the 18th round of the 2008 Amateur Draft out of Berry (Ga.) College. He was traded to the Rockies on June 18, 2013 and claimed off waivers by the Astros on December 18, 2013.
Roe, 34, has made the Rays Opening Day roster in each of the past three seasons. In 2020, he went 2-0 with a 2.89 ERA (9.1-IP, 3-ER) in 10 appearances, including a 1.59 ERA (5.2-IP, 1-ER) in his last five outings. He was placed on the 10-day injured list (right elbow soreness) on August 22 and transferred to the 45-day injured list on August 29, ending his season.
Roe was acquired by the Rays from the Atlanta Braves on July 18, 2017 in exchange for cash considerations. In four seasons with the Rays, he is 4-6 with a 3.54 ERA (119.1-IP, 47-ER) in 151 appearances. The Rays are his 10th major league organization since being selected by the Rockies in the first round (32nd overall) of the 2005 Amateur Draft out of Lafayette (Ky.) High School. In his career, he has held right-handed batters to a .217 avg. (119-for-548) with 11 home runs.
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