Live from Nashville, Thursday morning report, with a draft coming, maybe more
UPDATE, 11:48 a.m.: It seems very unlikely the Rays will have any big deals today, and more likely they will head home and over the next few days, or weeks, assess the options, specifically in regards to trading a starter. Furthering that thought, especially with the potential of a much speculated on deal with the Royals for top OF prospect Wil Myers, is word that K.C. GM Dayton Moore has already flown home from Nashville. The Royals are said to be in a similar posture, of wanting to re-assess.
Also, Lobstein was actually picked by the Mets for the Tigers, so he will join them. And the Rays lost RHP Scott Shuman to San Francisco in the Triple-A portion.
UPDATE: 10:18 a.m.: The Rays lost two LHPs in this morning's Rule 5 draft, with Kyle Lobstein taken by the Mets and Braulio Lara by the Marlins. Both have to be kept in the majors for the 2013 season or offered back to the Rays.
DEVELOPING: The winter meetings end today, though many top Rays officials are staying over at attend tonight's banquet where farm director Mitch Lukevics will received minor league baseball's Chief Bender Award.
The first order of business today is the Rule 5 draft, in which teams can pick minor-leaguers who have 4 or 5 seasons of pro experience and aren't on 40-man rosters, but must keep them in the big leagues or offer them back.
There is considerable speculation Rays LHP Braulio Lara will be among the top picks, possibly No. 1 overall to Houston. Lara is a soon to be 24-year-old hard-thrower from the Dominican Republic who has moved slowly through the Rays system, going 6-10, 5.71 at Class A Charlotte last season, allowing 123 hits and 58 walks in 112 innings. He has a career ERA of 4.41.
The Rays are not expected to make any selections in the major-league portion.
Of more revelance to the big-league team, there was a fair amount of chatter last night that the Royals may be nearing a decision on whether they will trade top OF Wil Myers, who coincidentally will be in Nashville this afternoon to receive Baseball America's minor-league player of the year award.
The Royals have had serious interest in James Shields, and some in Jeremy Hellickson and Wade Davis and other Rays pitchers. Kansas City Star beat writer Bob Dutton has speculated the Royals would trade Myers for Shields, but the Rays want more. The Royals are desperate for a front of the rotation starter.
The Rays have had other teams interested in Shields and the other pitchers, and may decide it's better to wait until after top free agent Zack Greinke signs, knowing whoever misses out could be motivated to make a deal. The Rangers and Dodgers have been most prominent there.
Overall the Rays are looking for another 1 or 2 position players, and a couple relievers.
Among other topics:
* The Mariners have emerged as somewhat of a surprise player for free-agent OF Josh Hamilton, the former Ray.
* The Rangers are in talks to trade INF Michael Young to the Phillies, where he would play 3B. Young would have to waive his no-trade clause.
* The Rays signed OF Jason Bourgeois to a minor-league deal. He has big-league time with the Astros and Royals among others.