The Tampa Bay Rays inked a minor-league deal with right-hander Erasmo Ramírez on Tuesday.

The Tampa Bay Rays made a flurry of roster moves the last two days, inking a minor league deal with right-hander Erasmo Ramírez, reinstating RHP Zack Littell from the 15-Day Injured List, and optioning LHP Jalen Beeks to Triple-A Durham.

Ramírez is an old friend of the Rays, as the right-hander posted a 3.98 ERA across 323.1 innings with Tampa Bay from 2015-2017 before he was dealt to the Mariners ahead of the July 2017 trade deadline. Since the trade, Ramírez has become a journeyman, pitching for a handful of ball clubs over the last six seasons.

Ramírez most recently pitched for Washington from 2022-2023, first joining the Nationals on a minor league deal in the 2021-22 offseason. Following the acquisition, the hurler delivered a 2.92 ERA and a 4.05 FIP over 86.1 innings in 2022, with a 1.08 WHIP and a 4.36 K/BB.  He had a much rougher time of things this season, resulting in a DFA. Prior to the acquisition, the right-hander put up a 6.33 ERA and a 5.24 FIP over 27 relief innings, with a diminished 10.3% strikeout rate (his lowest in any full season) — 7.7% under his career strikeout rate.

Currently, Ramírez relies primarily on an 89 mph cutter that has some natural sink and a 92 mph swing-and-miss sinker that has some natural sinking action, while also mixing in a hard 80 mph 12-6 curveball, an 85 mph changeup, and a 93 mph fourseam fastball that has heavy sinking action.

In arguably his best season in a Rays uniform, 2015 — when he maintained a 3.75 ERA and a 3.76 FIP, with a 1.13 WHIP, and a 3.15 K/BB across 163.1 innings — Ramírez relied primarily on his fourseamer (39.6% of the time), and changeup (23.2% of the time), while also mixing in his slider (16.6% of the time), and sinker (15.8% of the time)…something he deviated from over the years, favoring instead a two-pitch mix (sinker and cutter) over the last couple of seasons. If I was a guessing man, I’d reckon the righty will be encouraged to reincorporate a third or fourth pitch while he’s in Durham to make him less predictable, among other things.

While the results haven’t been there this season for the former Ray, the greener pastures of the friendly confines of the Trop might prove beneficial for Ramírez, given the team’s success at rejuvenating careers, not to mention their familiarity with the hurler’s repertoire. Getting a long reliever like Ramírez to eat innings and limit damage would benefit Tampa Bay as they try to get their bullpen on track for a stretch run.

Littell was claimed off waivers in May, and returns from what has been described as a “cranky shoulder.” He allowed three runs over 3.1 innings with Tampa Bay before landing on the 15-Day IL.

Meanwhile, Beeks will get the opportunity to get some work in after posting a career-high 5.82 ERA, and a 4.36 FIP which is 31 points north of his career numbers. The left-hander excelled in May, but a six-run outing against the Red Sox on June 3 was a low point for the hurler.