Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Commissioner optimistic about Rays' stadium situation

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred speaks with reporters after the groundbreaking ceremony for the future home of the of Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals spring training facility on Monday, Nov. 9, 2015, in West Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Mitchell) FLSM110

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred speaks with reporters after the groundbreaking ceremony for the future home of the of Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals spring training facility on Monday, Nov. 9, 2015, in West Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Mitchell) FLSM110

BOCA RATON — The optimism that the recent St. Petersburg City Council election will lead to progress in the Rays' stadium situation has reached MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, who further expressed his support for the Tampa Bay market.

"I believe that Tampa-St. Pete is a viable major-league market with the right facility," Manfred said Tuesday at the GM meetings.

The change in Council as a result of the election is expected to lead to a January deal to allow the Rays to look for sites throughout the Tampa Bay market. Manfred said Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg remains confident they can find a solution.

"I've said this before, and it is not a dodge in this particular case, my views with respect to the situation in Tampa are largely derivative of Mr. Sternberg's views," Manfred said. "He is a very thoughtful and effective individual. He remains optimistic as a result of the factor you point to as well as others that something can be accomplished in Tampa-St. Pete."

TRADE TALK: Though baseball operations president Matt Silverman said they would "be in good shape" if they didn't make another move going into spring training after adding SS Brad Miller and DH/1B/OF Logan Morrison, Rays officials had a busy first couple of days talking about potential deals.

"Conversations are maturing," Silverman said, without providing details. "The meetings facilitate deeper discussion and freer exploration."

Chatter around the meetings is that, as expected, there is considerable interest in their late-inning relievers, RHP Brad Boxberger and LHP Jake McGee, though it would take a large return for the Rays to move either. … There seems to be some initial interest in 1B James Loney, though the Rays might need to eat some of the $8 million owed to move him, which would open space in the lineup for Richie Shaffer and flexibility with Morrison. … With Miller aboard, the Rays are not actively pursuing any of the free-agent shortstops, such as Alexei Ramirez.

HOLA, CUBA? The Rays definitely would be interested in playing in Cuba in March if an MLB plan for spring exhibitions goes through, Silverman said.

Manfred said they are working through government channels and other issues to make it happen. "The answer to that is I hope so," he said. "I'm still committed to the idea that it would be a good thing for baseball to be able to play in Cuba next spring."

Manfred said there was no hard deadline and MLB would proceed internally, going as far as picking the team(s) that would go, to limit logistical issues.

On other topics, Manfred said they are continuing discussions on player safety issues regarding slides into second base and fan safety related to expanding areas covered by netting at stadiums. Manfred also said he thinks the current qualifying offer system is effective even though no players have accepted.

MINOR MATTERS: SS Hak-Ju Lee is among 17 minor-leaguers who played for the Rays last season and are now free agents. Lee, originally the centerpiece of the return in the January 2011 Matt Garza trade (since surpassed by Chris Archer), was dropped from the 40-man roster in September anyway.

LHP Jeff Beliveau and INF Jake Elmore, who were outrighted off the roster last week, are free agents along with RHPs Jose Dominguez, Ely Echarry, Bradin Hagens, Matt Lollis, Jhan Marinez and Jim Miller (AAA); LHPs Scott Diamond and Robert Zarate; Cs Mayo Acosta and Wilmer Dominguez; INFs Hector Guevara and Leonardo Reginatto; and OFs Corey Brown and Jose Constanza.

MANAGER CANDIDATE: Former Rays/current Cubs bench coach Dave Martinez arrived at the meetings hotel to interview for the Dodgers manager job.

Commissioner optimistic about Rays' stadium situation 11/10/15 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 10, 2015 9:23pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays morning after: An up-and down day for Jose De Leon

    Blogs

    Rays RHP Jose De Leon had a busy Monday - getting called up to join the Rays for the first time and making his way from Pawtucket, R.I., to Boston and the flying to Texas, working 2 2/3 eventful innings to get the W in the 10-8 victory over the Rangers, and then getting optioned back to Triple-A.

    Jose De Leon follows through in the sixth inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, on May 29, 2017.
  2. Tiger Woods says medication, not alcohol, led to DUI arrest in Florida

    Public Safety

    Players arriving for a tournament this week at Muirfield Village might notice a framed picture of Tiger Woods with a resplendent smile and bright red shirt. He's posed there with the trophy, an image that embodies the excitement he once brought to golf.

    This image provided by the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office on Monday, May 29, 2017, shows Tiger Woods. Police in Florida say Tiger Woods was been arrested for DUI.  [Palm Beach County Sheriff's office via AP]
  3. Four key games that could decide Bucs' success in 2017

    Blogs

    The Bucs finished so close to making the playoffs in 2016 -- literally flip-flop the last two results and have them beat the Saints and lose to the Panthers and they're in as a wild card with the same 9-7 record -- that it's difficult to say with any certainty what will happen in the 2017 season.

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston, shown celebrating a touchdown against the Giants in 2015, will face New York again this fall in Week 4 in Tampa.
  4. Frank Deford wrote with sincerity, giving depth to complicated sports figures

    Human Interest

    Frank Deford practically invented the notion of multimedia: He exported his voice to radio, TV and film, and if you didn't know him you might have thought he was an actor, because he wore purple suits and looked like Clark Gable. But Frank, who died Sunday at age 78, was a writer above all things, and an important …

    In a 1991 photo, Frank Deford holds a proof of The National Sports Daily, of which he was editor and publisher [Associated Press]
  5. Clarity coming this week on Florida Gators, Malik Zaire

    Blogs

    After months of speculation, we could finally get some clarity this week on the Florida Gators and graduate transfer quarterback Malik Zaire.

    SEC flags outside the hotel of last year's spring meetings in Destin. This year's meetings could have a huge impact on the Florida Gators' season.