Some contracts are great ideas, but simply do not work out. It is best when those contracts come at no risk at all–no harm, no foul. For the Rays, that is precisely the case with Juan Carlos Oviedo, the right-handed reliever formerly known as Leo Nunez. Last offseason, the Rays signed Oviedo to a minor league contract, but an irregular one. Oviedo was coming off Tommy John Surgery and was expected to pitch little if at all, and the Rays were able to get a $2 million option for 2014 on him simply for giving him a chance. The buyout on that option was just $30,000, and that was the path the Rays chose to take. Oviedo never got healthy, pitching a little bit in instructional league but never getting into a single game at any professional level, and the Rays deemed that even $2 million was too much to pay for a player in that situation. Oviedo remains a reclamation project and the Rays could still offer him to return on a minor league deal, but his contract for this season did not work out. What can you do? The Rays risked nothing, but unfortunately that got nothing in return. It is a gamble that would make a thousand more times.
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