Friday, May 25, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Union chief Clark: Yankees' comments "unprofessional" on Betances arbitration

PHOENIX — Baseball union chief Tony Clark called the public comments surrounding the salary arbitration hearing involving Yankees reliever Dellin Betances "unprecedented" and "unprofessional."

On Saturday, New York Yankees president Randy Levine said Betances' representatives had "over-the-top demands based on very little sense of reality" seeking a $5 million salary for 2017. The Yankees won Friday's hearing and are set to pay Betances $3 million for this season.

"There was a lot said," Clark, executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, said Sunday during his annual visit to the Cactus League in spring training. "That was most troubling thing. The arbitration has been around a long time. The folks that have been involved in the process, particularly with this particular case, have been around a long time. As you read and heard (Saturday), that conversation and the particulars in some level related to that case being made public in the fashion that they were, is unprecedented and is unprofessional and should not have happened in the fashion that it did."

Betances called it "unfair" to take him into a room to "trash me for about an hour and a half." Levine accused the pitcher's agents of using him to chase what Levine considered closer-like money though Betances is a setup man.

"What his agents did was make him a victim of an attempt to change a market place in baseball that has been well established for 30, 40 years, and I feel bad for him that he was used that way by his agents," Levine said after the decision was announced Saturday. "Five million dollars goes to elite closers, people who pitch the ninth inning and have a lot, a lot and a lot of saves."

Betances, 28, a three-time All-Star, went 3-6 with a 3.08 ERA and 12 saves in 17 opportunities last year.

"Saying I'm a victim in this whole process and saying how much they love me, but then they take me into a room and trash me for about an hour and a half," Betances said. "I thought that was unfair.

"They value me as a setup man, an eighth-inning guy, so is it selfish of me to say now, 'Hey guys, I just want come in for the eighth inning with no runners on all the time?' That's not the player I am."

Betances also had 126 strikeouts last season, leading big-league relievers for the third straight year.

"I know at this point that Dellin knows that we support him. I know at this point that other players have an appreciation for what may have happened here as a result of what came out publicly," Clark said. "But the truth is we have always been and will continue to be respectful of the process and those involved in it. Situations that arose like yesterday should have never happened."

With an abbreviated schedule ahead of the World Baseball Classic, Clark met over three days with all of the Cactus League clubs — five each on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. He's scheduled to depart the Arizona desert this morning for Florida, where he will do more of a traditional format while visiting each club.

Clark said he needs to meet with more players before the union can come to a decision on any rule changes — such as raising the strike zone, and there's a split among players on that issue so far.

"There is nothing that more directly affects players than rule changes," Clark said.

Comments
Rays trade closer Alex Colome, outfielder Denard Span to Mariners

Rays trade closer Alex Colome, outfielder Denard Span to Mariners

ST. PETERSBURG – In January, sure.In July, absolutely.But, now?And, once again, for someone who they hope helps down the road?The Rays made a shocking trade at a surprising time of year Friday, dealing All-Star closer Alex Colome and veteran Ta...
Updated: 13 minutes ago
Rays journal: Alex Cobb on his return to Trop: ‘I got lost’

Rays journal: Alex Cobb on his return to Trop: ‘I got lost’

By Joey JohnstonTimes CorrespondentST. PETERSBURG — Orioles RHP Alex Cobb, who was 48-35 in six major-league seasons with the Rays, returned Friday night to Tropicana Field for the first time after being allowed to walk away during the offseaso...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays trade Alex Colome and Denard Span to Mariners for prospects

Rays trade Alex Colome and Denard Span to Mariners for prospects

The Rays made a major trade Friday afternoon, sending All-Star closer Alex Colome and OF Denard Span to the Mariners.The return is two minor-leaguers, RHP Andrew Moore and RHP Tommy Romero. The Rays also sent cash to the Mariners.Span, a Tampa produc...
Updated: 3 hours ago
For starters: Sergio Romo on mound tonight as Rays open series against Orioles

For starters: Sergio Romo on mound tonight as Rays open series against Orioles

By JOEY JOHNSTONTimes CorrespondentST. PETERSBURG — For openers, the Rays will use RHP Sergio Romo, the 35-year-old career reliever, as tonight's starter against the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field.Romo is making his third career "sta...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Alex Cobb excited about return “home” to Trop even in Orioles orange

Alex Cobb excited about return “home” to Trop even in Orioles orange

RHP Alex Cobb has already pitched twice against his former Rays mates in Baltimore and said it didn't feel that weird, especially since there were so many new faces in the lineup.But coming back to the Trop, where he made his big-league debut and spe...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Willy Adames goes back to AAA, leaving Rays with “a lot to be excited about’

Willy Adames goes back to AAA, leaving Rays with “a lot to be excited about’

Willy Adames' first stint in the major leagues ended as planned Thursday night when he was optioned back to Triple-A Durham at the end of his planned three-game cameo filling in for new father Joey Wendle.Adames said going back down was "tough" even ...
Published: 05/25/18
Rays journal: Blake Snell, flying Denard Span finally solve Red Sox

Rays journal: Blake Snell, flying Denard Span finally solve Red Sox

ST. PETERSBURG — Having lost two straight and nine of 12 times overall to the Red Sox, the Rays needed two things to go right Thursday:First, a strong start from Blake Snell.Second, some early runs against Rick Porcello from an offense that had...
Published: 05/24/18
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Thursday’s Rays-Red Sox game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Thursday’s Rays-Red Sox game

Home cooking clearly agrees with OF Denard Span. The 34-year-old Tampa product continues to deliver, producing at the plate, running the bases, making diving catches in the outfield, and Thursday, even going over the short sidewall twice in hot pursu...
Published: 05/24/18
Rays once again will ‘open’ with relievers this weekend

Rays once again will ‘open’ with relievers this weekend

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays weren't kidding about being serious that starting relievers gives them the best chance to win.So much so, they plan to do so again this weekend against the Orioles — in all three games. The plan is for Sergio Rom...
Published: 05/24/18
Rays tripling down on starting relievers vs. Orioles this weekend: Romo, Stanek, Romo

Rays tripling down on starting relievers vs. Orioles this weekend: Romo, Stanek, Romo

The Rays aren't kidding about being serious in using relievers to start games.After unveiling the strategy last weekend against the Angels, manager Kevin Cash said they planned to use it again, and he made that official on Thursday, naming Sergio Rom...
Published: 05/24/18