Unless something changes, Lobaton will be in camp Friday
There has been plenty of talk for months that the Rays are going to trade Jose Lobaton.
But there has been no action, so - unless something changes - Lobaton plans to report with the Rays other catchers - and pitchers - to Port Charlotte for the opening of spring training.
"He's going to be there on Friday,'' agent Rafael Perez said Tuesday night. "He's a Ray, he's going to camp as a Ray, he's going to start spring straining as a Ray.''
Lobaton, who started 76 games last year and played in 100, has appeared extraneous since the Rays re-signed Jose Molina and traded for Ryan Hanigan. Talks heated up last week, with the D-backs, Indians, Rockies, White Sox, Mets and Nationals among teams with a need and/or interest.
Though it may be awkward, Lobaton could spend the spring in camp, offering the Rays protection in case Molina or Hanigan were injured, and the chance to see if another team develops a greater need.
Perez said he has heard and read the rumors, but has heard nothing from the Rays, so Lobaton, 29, will go into this spring as if it were any other.
"That's always his attitude, that he's going to compete for a job,'' Perez said. "He's ready.''