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Former closer Oviedo among four signed by Rays

ST. PETERSBURG — Tampa Bay signed four players to Minor League deals on Tuesday: outfielder Shelley Duncan and right-handed pitchers Jamey Wright, Juan Carlos Oviedo and Juan Sandoval.

Each was extended an invitation to Major League Spring Training.

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Ramos ready to fill whatever role is needed

ST. PETERSBURG — Cesar Ramos stood by his locker inside the Rays’ clubhouse at the close of the 2012 season speaking about the upcoming offseason.

Some players look forward to fishing and hunting, others might have a trip on the horizon. The left-hander couldn’t wait to hit the links near his home in Los Angeles. Ramos could already play a decent round of golf, but he wanted to improve his game. While talking about getting better, Ramos smiled about playing against — among others — Rays third-base coach Tom Foley, who is a noted golf enthusiast, once the team reports to Port Charlotte, Fla., for Spring Training.

So Ramos joined a golf club and set out to enjoy the sport for gentlemen — and left-handed pitchers.

"I’m playing pretty well now," Ramos said. "Finally got the rust off. I’m playing two or three times a week."

Ramos recently shot his best round of the offseason, a 78 at the par 71 Oakmont Country Club in Glendale, Calif., and he has lowered his handicap to 9.

Note to Foley: Proceed with caution.

Being able to golf on a regular basis has been a pleasurable pursuit for Ramos. However, he has kept his eye on the ball at more places than the links. The southpaw wants to be ready for the coming season, when Tampa Bay will likely be counting on him to help shore up its bullpen, which has withstood the losses of J.P. Howell, Burke Badenhop and, more than likely, Kyle Farnsworth.

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Check out the new Batting Practice hats that the team will be wearing this upcoming season. What do you guys think?