Baez among a handful of Rays targets; Odorizzi offered extension
UPDATE, 6:40: The Rays had "a pretty active day" in talkiing with a majority of the other 29 teams but don't expect anything to be consummated tonight, executive VP Chaim Bloom said.
DEVELOPING: The Rays have definitely targeted Cubs INF Javier Baez as a trade candidate to add an impact bat to their lineup, but are also talking to a handful of other teams about deals that could have a similar impact.
Also, the Rays have offered a multiyear contract to RHP Jake Odorizzi, and his agent, Jason Wood, confirmed mutual interest with plans to make a counter-offer.
To get Baez, or a similar young hitter, the Rays would give up pitching. They have depth both in relievers, with RHP Brad Boxberger and LHP Jake McGee, and in starters, with LHP Drew Smyly, LHP Matt Moore, Odorizzi and RHP Erasmo Ramirez available.
Some of the deals they are exploring require the Rays to deal a reliever, some a starter and some both. Thus, they have to explore all options before making a decision which way to go. The Rangers and Astros are other teams with interest in Rays pitchers, Texas reportedly on Smyly, Houston on the relievers.
Odorizzi, 25, is a relative bargain, making around $550,000 this season and next before becoming arbitration eligible, and under team control before free agency in 2020.
Specifics on the offer were not available, but it is similar to deals the Rays have done with others young players, involving guaranteed years and option years.
"It's a very nice initial offer,'' Wood said. "Jake really likes being there, really likes the camaraderie, really likes (pitching coach Jim) Hickey. Of course he wants to be treated fairly. There's a lot of reasons talks should go on.''