Thursday, October 18, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Teams’ interest makes it likely Alex Cobb will reject Rays’ qualifying offer

LAKE BUENA VISTA — Alex Cobb has heard enough good things from potential new teams that it seems fairly certain he will be saying goodbye to his old one.

Agent Dan Horwits said there have been "a lot of teams" interested in the veteran right-hander, and while the discussions have been preliminary, it seems as if they have heard enough for Cobb to decline the Rays’ one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer. That was their hope anyway, as it gives them a chance to get draft pick compensation.

The Cubs and Twins have been linked most to Cobb, who Horwits said is doing his own research as well.

Also:

• Rays free-agent first baseman Logan Morrison is getting some initial interest from the Red Sox and Angels, among others.

• Rays officials met with several teams and agents to gauge potential matchups. "Anytime you put all 30 clubs in the same building, it’s going to spur good conversation," senior vice president Chaim Bloom said. "We’re getting a better sense of what opportunities we might have."

• Rays general manager Erik Neander was a popular interview subject for Japanese media curious how the Rays handled two-way player Brendan McKay after making him their top pick in the draft, given how Shohei Ohtani wants to continue pitching and hitting when he comes to the majors.

Top managers named

Paul Molitor won the American League manager of the year award after his Twins became the first team to make the playoffs following a 100-loss season.

Molitor drew 18 of the 30 first-place votes in balloting by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. The Indians’ Terry Francona was second and A.J. Hinch of the World Series champion Astros third.

Torey Lovullo of the Diamondbacks won the NL award, also getting 18 first-place votes. In his first full season as a big-league skipper, Arizona reached the NL wild-card game a year after going 69-93. Dave Roberts of the NL champion Dodgers was second and the Rockies’ Bud Black was third.

Molitor joined Frank Robinson as the only Hall of Fame players to win a manager of the year award, which was first presented in 1983.

The Twins went 85-77 this season and earned their first playoff spot since 2010.

PICKING UP THE PACE: Major League Baseball is intent on shortening games next season.

The average time of a nine-inning game was a record 3 hours, 5 minutes this season, up from 2:56 in 2015. The postseason average was 3:29.

Many owners and general managers want to cut down trips to the mound by catchers, whether the reason is changing signs, talking about pitch selection or giving a pitcher a breather during long plate appearances.

Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro said "it’s not just listening to our current fans, it’s thinking about our future fans and the landscape we’re competing on."

OBITUARY: "Jungle Jim" Rivera, an outfielder on the 1959 "Go-Go" White Sox pennant-winning team, died Monday night in Fort Wayne, Ind. He was 96.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

Comments
Rays’ Rocco Baldelli reportedly a finalist for Toronto job

Rays’ Rocco Baldelli reportedly a finalist for Toronto job

Rays coach Rocco Baldelli is one of five finalists for the Blue Jays manager's job, Sportsnet's Shi Davidi reported.Three other finalists were said to be Astros bench coach Joe Espada, Giants farm director David Bell and Cubs bench coach Brandon Hyde...
Published: 10/16/18
Rays sending 4 trucks of supplies to hurricane-ravaged area

Rays sending 4 trucks of supplies to hurricane-ravaged area

The Rays will send four trucks of donated water, food and supplies to Bay County on Wednesday morning to help those affected by Hurricane Michael.About 20 staffers are making what will be a 36-hour trip to the Florida Panhandle as they deliver and di...
Published: 10/16/18
Rays make first 2019 signing, add LHP Ryan Sherriff

Rays make first 2019 signing, add LHP Ryan Sherriff

The Rays made their first move of the off-season, signing LHP Ryan Sherriff to a minor-league deal.Sherriff, 28, is recovering from June Tommy John elbow surgery so at best would be a late-season addition to the big-league roster.He has pitched parts...
Published: 10/16/18
Rays’ Rocco Baldelli interviews with Rangers

Rays’ Rocco Baldelli interviews with Rangers

Interest in Rays coach Rocco Baldelli as a manager continues to grow, as he interviewed for another opening on Monday, this time with the Texas Rangers.Baldelli, 37, has also interviewed with the Reds, and reportedly with the Twins. The Angels and Bl...
Published: 10/15/18
David Price finally leads Red Sox to a postseason victory. Sort of

David Price finally leads Red Sox to a postseason victory. Sort of

BOSTON — According to standard baseball measurements, David Price did not pitch well on Sunday night. The former Ray gave up four runs in fewer than five innings, handed back a lead that his Boston Red Sox teammates had given him in the first inning ...
Published: 10/15/18
Sports Illustrated: Rays were baseball’s ‘most consequential’ team in 2018

Sports Illustrated: Rays were baseball’s ‘most consequential’ team in 2018

They won't win the World Series. And they didn't even make the playoffs.Yet, the Rays were baseball's "most consequential baseball team" this season, according to Sports Illustrated.The opener strategy first employed by the Rays presents "the biggest...
Published: 10/15/18
Add Reds to teams Rays’ Rocco Baldelli has talked with

Add Reds to teams Rays’ Rocco Baldelli has talked with

We told you in Sunday's Tampa Bay Times that Rays coach Rocco Baldelli was a "hot name" for the six current managerial openings, and had already been connected with the Blue Jays, Rangers and Twins.There was word Sunday morning of formal contact with...
Published: 10/14/18
Rays Tales: Is moving on from C.J. Cron the right move?

Rays Tales: Is moving on from C.J. Cron the right move?

ST. PETERSBURG —The Rays' primary target this offseason seems to be adding a right-handed impact bat.And to do so, they are likely to get rid of the one they have, 30-homer hitting 1B/DH C.J. Cron.Why?In short, to try to upgrade. And gain some ...
Published: 10/13/18
Updated: 10/15/18
Rays collecting donations for Hurricane Michael relief

Rays collecting donations for Hurricane Michael relief

The Rays are collecting donations to help those in the Panhandle affected by Hurricane Michael.You can donate from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday and 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday at the Tropicana Field Gate 4 dropoff circle at 16th Street near Fifth Avenue S in St. Pe...
Published: 10/13/18
Michelle Margaux leaving Rays TV broadcasts, heading to Houston

Michelle Margaux leaving Rays TV broadcasts, heading to Houston

Michelle Margaux is leaving Fox Sports Sun after one season as the reporter on Rays broadcasts and heading Houston to cover the NBA Rockets as the in-game reporter for AT&T SportsNet.Margaux will also have some hosting duties and work some Astros gam...
Published: 10/10/18