Sunday, January 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

New Ray Jake Odorizzi sees club's success developing pitchers as a positive

ST. PETERSBURG — In a way, being traded from the Royals to the Rays might not be the best career move for RHP Jake Odorizzi, since even after trading James Shields and Wade Davis Tampa Bay still has a young and promising rotation that already runs six deep.

But in another way, and the way Odorizzi looks at it, it could be just the thing to get his big-league career moving.

"Their track record speaks for itself," Odorizzi said on a conference call. "They've brought up a bunch of young guys through their system and all have had success at the big-league level. … I think it's very humbling they wanted me to be part of that deal and they think I can develop just like a Jeremy Hellickson, Matt Moore, David Price."

Odorizzi (o-DUH-rizzi), 22, has had "top prospect" status in two organizations, the Brewers, who drafted him, and the Royals, who acquired him in the December 2010 Zack Greinke deal.

He got to the big leagues at the end of last season — after going a combined 15-5, 3.03 at Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Triple-A Omaha — and plans, from the start of spring training, to do whatever he has to to get back as soon as he can, "definitely" ready to be there.

"I'm just going to go in and try to earn a spot and throw like I'm trying to get a spot somewhere in there," he said. "I haven't heard anything what their thought process is. I just go in with my own thought process and do the best I can and leave the rest up to them and their decision making."

WADING IN: Shields had heard his name enough in trade rumors over the past few seasons that though disappointed to get the call Sunday night, he was hardly surprised to be dealt. "I've been kind of prepping myself a little bit for this day," he said Monday on a conference call.

Davis said he really wasn't shocked, either. "I don't know if I was surprised," he said. "We all know this is how things go, that we're probably going to end up going eventually. We had a ton of pitching and they needed to add some pieces to the team."

After spending last year in the Rays bullpen, Davis said he "definitely" prefers starting and is "pretty excited" by the chance to do so again.

TRADE BITS: Shields gets a $750,000 "assignment" bonus that will be paid by the Royals. Also, his 2014 option is estimated at $13.5 million. …The additional player going to the Royals is expected to be named by spring training, which means it couldn't be a 2012 draft pick. Cash is another option. … Odorizzi and LHP Mike Montgomery were added to the Rays 40-man roster, which stands at 39. Myers is not yet required to be added unless he's going to play in the big leagues.

MORE RAYS: As part of Tampa's David Price Day festivities, the LHP will be presented a key to the city. Fans are invited to the 2 p.m. ceremony at City Hall Plaza (courtyard behind the Tampa Municipal Office Building), 306 E Jackson St. … Manager Joe Maddon, who serves his Thanksmas meals today at Salvation Army Shelters in Clearwater and Tampa, received the Pediatric Cancer Foundation's Ted Williams Award, given for making a difference in the community.

AROUND THE MAJORS: Major League Baseball Advanced Media and StubHub.com announced a five-year deal that continues the website's role as the sport's official secondary ticket market while eliminating the cheap listings that had become an eyesore for some clubs. … The Yankees are expected to re-sign OF Ichiro Suzuki this week. … LF Ryan Ludwick rejoined the Reds, signing a two-year, $15 million deal. … The Pirates re-signed RH reliever Jason Grilli to a two-year contract worth $6.75 million.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

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