Rays add ex-Braves RHP Bennett

Updated: August 1, 2009, 7:14 PM ET
Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Rays have signed free agent right-handed reliever Jeff Bennett to a major league contract.

Bennett joined the team on Saturday. He was granted his release by the Atlanta Braves Thursday. Bennett went 2-4 with 3.18 ERA in 33 games with Atlanta before breaking a bone on his left hand in late June.

Rays manager Joe Maddon said Bennett will pitch in middle relief.

Tampa Bay optioned righ-hander Joe Nelson to Triple-A Durham. The Rays released left-hander James Houser, who had pitching for Durham.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press