Sunday, June 24, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

No big deal for Rays at winter meetings, but it’s still coming

LAKE BUENA VISTA — Here’s the one thing we definitely know:

Rays officials headed home from the winter meetings and back across I-4 Thursday without making deals to trade any of their bigger-name, higher-paid players. Not closer Alex Colome, not third baseman Evan Longoria, not starters Chris Archer or Jake Odorizzi, not any of them, even though some of their talks had become "advanced" the night before.

"I think they’re still in that same stage right now," senior vice president Chaim Bloom said Thursday morning. "We have had a lot of detailed conversations with a number of different clubs. … We’re going to see in the near future if that leads to us consummating a deal."

Here’s one thing we think we know:

The Cardinals are a very good match for the Rays in terms of needs and potential return given a stash of young talent and prospects, and they have shown they are motivated to make moves, trying for Giancarlo Stanton, then landing Marcell Ozuna.

What started as focus on Colome seems to have expanded to include Longoria or one of the starters. Or — in what would be a mind-boggling return — potentially one-stop shopping to fill all three holes.

But until the Rays are convinced it’s their best move, it behooves them to keep talking to other teams and seeing what more they might be able to get.

"One of the things about this week, and I think it’s always this way to some degree but this year more so, it’s a fortunate position to be in — we have a number of players that teams like," Bloom said. "And that expands the amount of possibilities that pop up. So there’s not necessarily one specific thing that we’re zeroed in on. There’s a number of different possibilities that we’re trying to weigh.’’

Here’s another thing we think we know:

The Cardinals can play coy, too.

As top executive John Mozeliak led the Cardinals staff home from Disney, he said they needed to "reassess" after adding Ozuna and reliever Luke Gregerson, and decide what was next. "We’re certainly excited about the club that we have,’’ he said. "There are still some things we still might do. And I think we’ll take next week and see where that may lead us. I definitely think that January is plenty of opportunity to do other things.’’

Here’s another thing we think we know:

The longer teams that seem to match up well wait, the more chance there are for their eyes to wander.

For example, the Orioles’ deciding to explore the trade market for star free-agent-to-be Manny Machado, who obviously would be an upgraded option to Longoria but also at a different price point. Depending whom you believe, the Cardinals are described as being very interested and fairly aggressive. They also are said to have checked in on free agent closer Wade Davis.

Similarly, the Rays have gotten plenty of interest in Colome and Archer. The market for Longoria is somewhat limited — though the Angels are an option — and they might do better pairing him with one of the pitchers.

And here’s one last thing we think we know:

Whether with the Cardinals or with someone else, whether today, this weekend, on Christmas Eve or by Valentine’s Day, the Rays have to make some big deals to cut payroll. Colome remains likely the first to go. Longoria, even with all he has meant to the franchise, is very much in play, and executives around the industry know it. And one of the starters will be dealt.

When? To whom? For what?

Those are things we don’t know.

Marc Topkin can be reached at [email protected] Follow @TBTimes_Rays.

Comments
Rays team up to beat Yankees again 4-0

Rays team up to beat Yankees again 4-0

ST. PETERSBURG — With all that's been said, tweeted, ranted and written on these pages and elsewhere about the Rays' odd, unorthodox, weird and some days downright wacky pitching plan, this might be the craziest thing yet:It's working.Like, rea...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Rays Tales: Why ‘trades’ and ‘prospects’ are always in same conversation

Rays Tales: Why ‘trades’ and ‘prospects’ are always in same conversation

Besides the continual evolution of their intriguing pitching plan, the primary topics of conversation for the Rays over the next several weeks will be trades and prospects. And not mutually exclusively.Some sooner than others, the Rays are going to c...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Rays journal: New confidence carries over for Willy Adames

Rays journal: New confidence carries over for Willy Adames

ST. PETERSBURG — The key to SS Willy Adames rapping two of the biggest hits in the Rays' 4-0 win Saturday actually took place the night before.An RBI single that snapped an 0-for-12 and a second hit two winnings later in Friday's game restored ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Saturday’s Rays-Yankees game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Saturday’s Rays-Yankees game

INF Daniel Robertson has only played two games after a short DL stint, but it seems like he has already made a half dozen great plays. Willy Adames and Jake Bauers get the attention, but Robertson has the skills to steal the show any night.It is obvi...
Updated: 7 hours ago
For starters: Rays vs. Yankees, looking for two straight

For starters: Rays vs. Yankees, looking for two straight

UPDATE, 2:38: Clarifying what was a communication error with the team PR staff, Rays manager Kevin Cash said LHP Blake Snell was slated for an extra day's rest all along and will face the Nationals on Monday not the Yankees on Sunday. The Rays will u...
Published: 06/23/18
Rodney Page’s takeaways from Rays-Yankees

Rodney Page’s takeaways from Rays-Yankees

1. SS Willy Adames had a nice night, and there appear to be many more in his future. He had two hits, an RBI and an inning-ending leaping catch on a line drive by Didi Gregorius in the fifth.2. DH C.J. Cron needs to shake things up. Take a different ...
Published: 06/22/18
Marc Anthony pays a visit to the Trop

Marc Anthony pays a visit to the Trop

By Allana BarefieldTimes Staff WriterST. PETERSBURG — Latin pop star Marc Anthony visited Tropicana Field on Friday to see his beloved Yankees play the Rays.Anthony spent nearly an hour on the field before the game as fans and players surrounde...
Published: 06/22/18
Rays journal: Daniel Robertson’s return crowds up infield

Rays journal: Daniel Robertson’s return crowds up infield

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays reinstated INF Daniel Robertson from the 10-day disabled list (left hamstring strain). To make room, RHP Austin Pruitt was sent to Triple-A Durham."It's out of my mind. I don't think about (the hamstring) when I'm bend...
Published: 06/22/18
Rays hang on for a 2-1 win over Yankees

Rays hang on for a 2-1 win over Yankees

ST. PETERSBURG – Many times this season the Rays' strategy of opening the game with a short reliever and using the bullpen to finish hasn't had much success.Friday wasn't one of those nights.A total of six pitchers held the Yankees and their va...
Published: 06/22/18
Missed time a good mental reset for Rays’ Matt Duffy

Missed time a good mental reset for Rays’ Matt Duffy

ST. PETERSBURG — Missing all of 2017 might have been the absolute worst thing for Matt Duffy.Frustratingly idled as he eventually recovered and rehabbed from ongoing left heel issues, he couldn't play the game he loved, couldn't show the Rays o...
Published: 06/21/18
Updated: 06/22/18