Howell was one of the few intriguing pieces on the market this offseason when it comes to relief help. Several teams were linked to conversations with Howell, among them the Cubs, Phillies, Nationals, Rangers and Mariners.
The 29-year-old southpaw fanned 42 batters and compiled a 3.04 ERA in 50⅓ innings for the Rays in 2012. His repertoire consists of a fastball clocked on the mid-to-high 80 mph range, with a solid changeup and slider. He has held left-handed opponents to a lifetime .241 batting average, which was certain to make him worthy of consideration under the current circumstances of the market for pitchers.