Friday, December 15, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Jeter has first BP session since surgery

TAMPA — Derek Jeter received an ovation that could be heard throughout Steinbrenner Field when he jogged onto the diamond for the Yankees' first full-squad workout Monday.

Jeter, 38, took part in most of the team drills, including on-field batting practice for the first time since October ankle surgery. The captain, who has been hitting in an indoor cage, also took part in a 25-minute defensive session at shortstop.

"It felt good," Jeter said. "It's the first time I'm doing everything on the field, in terms of hitting on the field, groundballs on the dirt. What I'm doing now is what I would be doing at the beginning of workouts anyway, but I'm a couple weeks behind."

Although he didn't take part in agility or running, Jeter got the day's biggest salute from the several hundred fans present when he first appeared. They also cheered when he lined a ball to right on his first BP swing.

Phils: Young at home

CLEARWATER — Michael Young had spent his entire 12-year career with the Rangers when the Phillies acquired him in December. While leaving the only team he'd ever known was difficult, he has no complaints about his landing spot.

The Phillies, like Texas, are a perennial contender. And they have an open spot at third base after Placido Polanco left as a free agent for Miami.

A career .301 hitter, Young spent the past two seasons moving among four infield spots and DH in Texas. On Monday, Young looked right at home at third base, taking ground balls and pop-ups with the rest of Philadelphia's starting infield.

"The last couple years I was working hard but I'm getting 25 percent of my workload where I should be getting 100 percent, which is hard," Young said. "Before I was getting 25 percent of the reps because I had to keep bouncing around making sure I keep sharp at all four spots. This year I can put everything I have into third."

Manager Charlie Manuel hasn't come out and declared Young as his team's opening day third baseman, though it seems all but assured. Still, Young would rather prove to Manuel he can still take care of business rather than be awarded the spot based on his resume.

"I think he's trying to show us how good he is at third base," Manuel said. "He says, 'I can play third base. I don't want to tell you, I'll show you.' "

Jays: Watchful eye

DUNEDIN — LHP Ricky Romero, battling back from tendinitis in both knees, had his second bullpen session while also throwing to live hitters for the first time this spring.

The Blue Jays are keeping a close watch on Romero, 28, who received platelet-rich plasma injections in his knees during the offseason to help alleviate the pain. The discomfort didn't completely subside.

"We keep an eye on him," manager John Gibbons said. "If he's barking, we'll shut him down or lighten the load, but when you have them at this stage of your career, it's probably going to bother you your whole career. You basically just have to deal with it, there's not structural problems, but you just grin and bear it, I guess."

Romero hasn't had any setbacks. "Right now, the good thing is that everything is coming out free and easy and just trying to build off that," he said.

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

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...
Published: 12/14/17
Are Tampa Bay Rays going to make a major deal involving Alex Colome, others? Well …

Are Tampa Bay Rays going to make a major deal involving Alex Colome, others? Well …

UPDATE, 4:02: It doesn't sound like the Rays and Cardinals will be making a deal today, Derrick Goold writing for the St. Louis Post Dispatch that Cardinals execs "leave the Walt Disney Dolphin resort with good feel for what Tampa Bay would be willin...
Published: 12/14/17
Rays re-sign pitcher Jonny Venters, among 13 invited to spring training

Rays re-sign pitcher Jonny Venters, among 13 invited to spring training

LAKE BUENA VISTA — LHP Jonny Venters got as far as Triple A in September. Now the former All-Star is positioned to make it all the way back to the majors for the first time since 2012, re-signing with the Rays and headlining Thursday’s announcement o...
Published: 12/14/17
Veteran Jonny Venters, prospect Joe McCarthy among 13 Tampa Bay Rays spring invitees

Veteran Jonny Venters, prospect Joe McCarthy among 13 Tampa Bay Rays spring invitees

Inspiring veteran LHP Jonny Venters and intriguing prospect 1B/OF Joe McCarthy are among 13 players invited to major-league spring training camp with the Rays.Others coming as a result of signing minor-league contracts with invites are: RHP R.J. Alan...
Published: 12/14/17
Tampa Bay Rays lose RHP Burch Smith in Rule 5 draft, keep Nick Ciuffo

Tampa Bay Rays lose RHP Burch Smith in Rule 5 draft, keep Nick Ciuffo

The Rays lost RHP Burch Smith in Thursday's Rule 5 draft but were happy to see him get an opportunity in Kansas City.They also were pleased to hang on to C Nick Ciuffo, who was left exposed but not selected.Smith, 27, was acquired from the Padres as ...
Published: 12/14/17
Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 4

Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 4

UPDATE, 11:09: RHP Steve Cishek, who was a very effective addition to the Rays pen last season, has reunited with pitching coach Jim Hickey, agreeing to a deal with the Cubs.UPDATE, 10:40: Like most teams, Rays officials are heading out of the meetin...
Published: 12/14/17
Disney-Fox deal gives ESPN control of local cable rights to Rays, Lightning games

Disney-Fox deal gives ESPN control of local cable rights to Rays, Lightning games

As part of its deal to buy a massive package of 21st Century Fox assets, Disney will acquire Fox Sports Regional Networks, which control the local cable rights to a slew of professional teams, including the Tampa Bay Rays and Tampa Bay Lightning.Assu...
Published: 12/14/17
Tampa Bay Rays making progress in trade talks

Tampa Bay Rays making progress in trade talks

Without getting into specifics – especially the who and the where – Rays officials are for the first time talking optimistically about making a trade before the winter meetings end Thursday.Speaking at around 5:15, senior VP Chaim Bloom s...
Published: 12/13/17

Winter meetings journal: Rays trade for money to sign top international free agent

LAKE BUENA VISTA — While most of the business conducted at the meetings impacts the big-league team one way or another, the Rays are working to finalize a move they hope pays off big sometime in the 2020s.In trading Wednesday to acquire $1 million in...
Published: 12/13/17
Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 3 – updated with news

Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 3 – updated with news

UPDATE, 5:55: Trade talks apparently picked up this afternoon, perhaps related to previous activity by other teams, and for first time Rays officials sound like something could happen tonight."At this point today, some of those conversations are movi...
Published: 12/13/17