Sunday, December 17, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Joe Maddon still believes Tampa Bay Rays will stand pat at trade deadline

ANAHEIM, Calif. — RHP James Shields is eagerly looking forward to Tuesday, ostensibly because it's the day of his next start but also because — one way or another — it will be the end of the trade rumors that have followed him for weeks.

There was some speculation Sunday that the Rangers are intensifying their interest in the veteran starter, and that the Cardinals may have joined the Braves, Dodgers and Indians as other possibilities. The Rays' decision to give CF B.J. Upton the day off — supposedly just for rest, Upton said — raised the question if he could be involved in a deal. And with the deadline nearing, more rumors are sure to fly.

But Rays manager Joe Maddon said before, and again after, Sunday's game that he doesn't think the Rays will made a trade by the 4 p.m. Tuesday deadline.

"My feeling normally is this, and I've been right almost all the time, is that we're not going to do anything," Maddon said. "We talk a lot and it always takes two to dance, and at the end of the day it's difficult to match up all the time. So I would bet that nothing really happens."

MONKEYING AROUND: After two rough seasons with the Angels, RHP Fernando Rodney enjoyed his return to Anaheim, getting his 29th and 30th saves and both days aiming his imaginary arrow at the scoreboard that features the Rally Monkey.

He said on Saturday he shot the "son" and on Sunday he got the "father," who was there to "intimidate" him. So what does he expect when the Rays come back in a few weeks? "They have to order something," he said.

Rodney became the fourth Ray to have a 30-save season, joining Rafael Soriano (2010), Danys Baez (2004-05) and Roberto Hernandez (1999-2000).

LONGO UPDATE: Evan Longoria was back in the lineup for Triple-A Durham as the DH on Sunday, going 1-for-3 with a sacrifice fly and a walk in the third game of his rehab assignment, aiming for a possible return this week. Longoria, sidelined since partially tearing his left hamstring April 30, played two games then sat out Saturday after reporting some soreness. "He's feeling pretty good," Maddon said Sunday.

PRICE CHECK: LHP David Price goes for his major league-leading 15th win tonight in Oakland in the Rays' 103rd game. Since 2000, only three American League pitchers have done so in fewer games: Toronto's David Wells, 88 in 2000; Chicago's Jon Garland, 95 in 2008; New York's CC Sabathia, 101 in 2011.

ABOUT SATURDAY NIGHT: LHP Matt Moore's strong start was the key to the 3-0 victory, with both Moore and Maddon saying that his curveball was a particularly effective weapon. The ESPN's Stats and Info crew confirmed that, noting that Moore got a career high-matching six outs with the curve (and would have had seven if not for 3B Ryan Roberts' error), and that Moore didn't allow a hit off his curve or his fastball, all four coming off his changeup.

MISCELLANY: Sunday was the 52nd time (in 102 games) the Rays scored fewer than four runs. … The Angels were shut out in consecutive games for the first time since May 3-4, second time for the season. … RHP Alex Colome pitched his first career nine-inning complete game in Double-A Montgomery's 5-2 win over Mississippi.

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