Report: Former Rays Reliever Dan Wheeler Agrees to One-Year Deal With Red Sox

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December 18, 2010

The Red Sox continue to bolster their bullpen depth, reportedly coming to terms with former Rays reliever Dan Wheeler on Saturday.

According to MLB Trade Rumors, Wheeler agreed to a one-year, $3 million deal, with a vesting option for a second if he surpasses the 65-appearance threshold. ESPN’s Gordon Edes was first to report.

Wheeler has a 3.84 career ERA, but for the past three seasons, the 33-year-old right-hander has had a 3.35 ERA and better with the Rays in the treacherous AL East. Wheeler also has some experience at closer and has notched 43 career saves.

Though Wheeler was a Type A free agent, Tampa Bay did not offer him arbitration or accept his $4 million option — instead buying him out for $1 million. Accordingly, the Rays will not receive compensatory draft picks.

For Wheeler, joining the Red Sox will be a homecoming. He was born in Providence and went to high school in Warwick, R.I.

He will, of course, be joined on the 2011 Red Sox by fellow former Ray Carl Crawford.

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