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Arizona Diamondbacks snag RHP Kevin Jepsen, LHP Brian Matusz

By Alex Butler
Arizona Diamondbacks snag RHP Kevin Jepsen, LHP Brian Matusz
Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher Kevin Jepsen (40) throws to the Boston Red Sox in the eighth inning at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California on August 30 , 2012. UPI/Lori Shepler. | License Photo

Feb. 13 (UPI) -- As its pitchers and catchers reported to Salt River Fields Monday, the Arizona Diamondbacks noticed it needed some bullpen bulk.

The franchise acted accordingly and invited pitchers Brian Matusz and Kevin Jepsen to spring training, while signing them to minor league contracts.

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Matusz, 30, was the No. 4 pick in the 2008 amateur draft. The southpaw allowed six runs in three innings in 2016 during his only appearance for the World Series champion Chicago Cubs. He had a 12.00 ERA in seven games for the Baltimore Orioles before being traded to the Atlanta Braves and being released three weeks later. He caught on with the Cubs in June before being granted free agency again in November. Matusz made $3.9 million in 2016. He had a 4.01 ERA in 14 minor league appearances last season.

Arizona needs to craft a lefty for its bullpen to stand alongside Andrew Chafin and Steve Hathaway. Matusz could fit that bill.

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Jepsen has been on the move in the last few seasons. The Tampa Bay Rays picked him up in July four days after the Minnesota Twins cut him. He was also traded in 2014 and in 2015. Jepsen made $5.3 million last season, while earning a 5.98 ERA in 58 appearances for the Twins and Rays. The 32-year-old posted a 3.94 ERA during for the Los Angeles Angels during the first seven years of his career.

The Baltimore Orioles reportedly showed interest in the right-hander in November, but nothing materialized.

Arizona finished in fourth place in the National League West last season, posting a 69-93 record. The Diamondbacks allowed 890 runs, the most in Major League Baseball.

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