Friday, February 23, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Interest ramps up in Tampa Bay Rays pitcher James Shields

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Angels acquiring starter Zack Greinke from the Brewers on Friday removes one prominent team from the list of those rumored to be interested in Rays right-hander James Shields.

But it could also stoke the market for the others.

The Braves, Dodgers, Indians and Rangers are the teams most interested in Shields, who, along with Miami's Josh Johnson, are two of the most prominent starters being talked about in advance of Tuesday's deadline for nonwaiver deals.

Rays manager Joe Maddon maintained Friday even after the Greinke deal that he does not believe Shields will be dealt.

"You would think that might turn more of the focus on our guy, there's no question. I can't deny that," Maddon said before Friday's game. "But at the end of the day, I still believe Shieldsy is going to be a Ray after the trade deadline is over.

"All this conjecture does occur, and there's reasons why they're pointing at James. But I still believe in my heart of hearts that it's not going to happen, and it's going to move on and we're going to be normal and he's going to pitch like he can over the last two months of the season."

Shields, who insists he is not concerned with and hasn't been distracted by the speculation, said he didn't consider the Greinke deal to have much impact on him.

"To be honest with you, I have no clue what goes on in that whole situation," he said. "It doesn't affect me mentally. It doesn't affect me being part of my team. It doesn't affect me as far as what I do in our clubhouse as far as trying to win games for us, and that's all I really care about. I don't really care about anything else."

The Angels got Greinke in exchange for three young players — middle infielder Jean Segura, who was their top prospect, and right-handers John Hellweg and Ariel Pena. Greinke is a free agent after this season, which means the Angels could be paying a steep price, including the remainder of his $13.5 million salary this year, for 12 to 13 starts.

"We're excited," Angels general manager Jerry DiPoto said after the deal was announced Friday. "Zack Greinke has a Cy Young Award on his mantle. He's an All-Star. He's a quality major-league pitcher at a time when it's difficult to find access to them."

The Rays will face Greinke in his Angels debut on Sunday, which will be his regular day.

Though the Rays and Angels are in different divisions, they may end up competing for one of the two American League wild-card spots, so Greinke's addition to a rotation that includes Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson and Dan Haren could have a significant impact on them.

"He's very good and obviously on the surface it would appear that way," Maddon said. "But I like our guys, too. I like our pitchers. It's about us playing better as we move it forward. Regardless of what the Angels may acquire, what the Yankees may acquire, the Red Sox, it's just about having our young starters pitch better right now and maintaining the health of our bullpen."

Comments
Rays’ Honeywell has torn UCL, headed for Tommy John surgery

Rays’ Honeywell has torn UCL, headed for Tommy John surgery

The Rays got the worst-case news they were dreading, that top prospect RHP Brent Honeywell has a torn UCL and is headed for Tommy John  surgery.Honeywell said he plans to have the surgery as soon as possible to expedite his return sometime in th...
Updated: 26 minutes ago
Live blog: Rays open spring training season against Pirates, Orioles

Live blog: Rays open spring training season against Pirates, Orioles

The Rays open the exhibition season with not one, but two games today.Non-roster pitcher Vidal Nuno will start against the Pirates at 1:05 p.m. in Port Charlotte. Denard Span, Matt Duffy, Kevin Kiermaier, Wilson Ramos, Mallex Smith and Adeiny Hechava...
Updated: 1 hour ago
For starters: Split squad opener for Rays – vs. Pirates and at Orioles, 1:05

For starters: Split squad opener for Rays – vs. Pirates and at Orioles, 1:05

With 15 teams training in Florida,  there usually has to be either be at least one team off or one team playing two games. And with today the official opening day of spring training, the Rays had the bad draw of having to play split squad games....
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays spring training info: Friday – vs. Pirates and at Orioles

Rays spring training info: Friday – vs. Pirates and at Orioles

Friday's games:Vs. Pirates1:05, Charlotte Sports Park, 2300 El Jobean Road, Port Charlotte. Pitchers: Rays – LH Vidal Nuno; Pirates – RH Taylor Eppler.Radio: raysbaseball.com, MLB At Bat app (free with mlb.com account)Tickets: raysbasebal...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays holding their breath

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays holding their breath

Rays top pitching prospect Brent Honeywell left practice Thursday after throwing a handful of pitches, and the fear (now confirmed) is he might need Tommy John surgery, ending his season before it begins.In his lastest podcast, Rick Stroud has the la...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Brent Honeywell injury could be worst Rays news yet

Brent Honeywell injury could be worst Rays news yet

PORT CHARLOTTE — It might have seemed that things couldn't get worse for the Rays after an opening week of spring training that included the dumping of two veterans to harshly negative reviews, including from their own players; to the trade of ...
Updated: 12 hours ago

How the Rays’ DFA of Dickerson paid off, with a reliever and a prospect from Pirates

PORT CHARLOTTE – The Rays' surprising and controversial decision to designate for assignment 2017 All-Star OF/DH Corey Dickerson to prompt a trade paid off Thursday in a deal with the Pirates.Assuming you consider it a good return to get vetera...
Published: 02/22/18
Rays find taker for Corey Dickerson, get Daniel Hudson, prospect from Pirates

Rays find taker for Corey Dickerson, get Daniel Hudson, prospect from Pirates

The Rays found a taker for OF/DH Corey Dickerson, trading him Thursday to the Pirates for veteran reliever Daniel Hudson, minor-league INF Tristan Gray and $1-million cash.Hudson, 30, will compete for a spot in the Rays bullpen, coming off a rou...
Published: 02/22/18
New pitcher Anthony Banda already “loving the vibe” with Rays

New pitcher Anthony Banda already “loving the vibe” with Rays

Acknowledging the "whirlwind" that comes with being traded, LHP Anthony Banda said he is excited to come over from Arizona because he figures to have a better opportunity with the Rays.And he already likes the fit."I'm very excited to be here and con...
Published: 02/22/18
Spring is in the air as games start today

Spring is in the air as games start today

After a week of players stretching, doing mundane drills and practicing practice, spring training moves to the next phase today with the start of exhibition games.Ah, baseball in the sunshine.Consider it a soft opening in this part of the state, with...
Published: 02/22/18