Monday, April 23, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays continue talks to deal Lobaton to Nationals

ST. PETERSBURG — With the opening of spring training days away, the Rays were working Wednesday on a trade to send extra catcher Jose Lobaton to Washington.

If the deal is completed, the return would be right-hander Nate Karns, a 26-year-old who made three big-league starts last year (0-1, 7.50) after going 10-6, 3.26 at Double-A Harrisburg. Karns was rated the Nationals' ninth-best prospect by Baseball America.

At least two other players are believed to be in the deal, potentially minor-leaguers going to Washington.

Lobaton said Wednesday night that he had not heard anything besides media reports, and he still planned to travel from his Orlando-area home to Port Charlotte to report with Rays pitchers and catchers at camp on Friday.

Lobaton, 29, who started 76 games last season, became expendable when the Rays re-signed Jose Molina and acquired Ryan Hanigan in the offseason. He can't be sent directly to the minors without going through waivers since he is out of options.

Acquiring an advanced pitching prospect would make sense as the Rays seek to add rotational depth with Jeremy Hellickson sidelined until at least mid May after elbow surgery.

Around the majors

PHILS GAIN ONE, LOSE ONE: On the day Cole Hamels announced he won't be ready for the season opener, the Phillies helped their ailing starting rotation. Right-hander A.J. Burnett, 37, agreed to a one-year contract worth $16 million, the Associated Press reported. He should give the Phillies a formidable top three along with left-hander Cliff Lee, if Hamels is healthy. Hamels, 30, said in Clearwater that he has left biceps tendinitis, but the left-hander expects to pitch in April.

FREGOSI HOSPITALIZED: Jim Fregosi, former major-leaguer and longtime Tampa Bay area resident, suffered a stroke while on a cruise with Major League Baseball alumni and has been hospitalized in the Cayman Islands, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Fregosi's family is trying to transport him to a hospital in Miami. Fregosi, 71, has worked in the Braves front office for the past 13 years.

SCHILLING HEALING: Curt Schilling's daughter said the former pitcher is recovering from cancer surgery, espn.com reported. Schilling, 47, announced last week that he is battling cancer.

SUSPENSION: Tigers minor-league catcher Ronny Paulino, who has played eight seasons in the majors, was suspended for 100 games for a second violation of baseball's drug policy.

MARINERS: Right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma will not throw for four to six weeks because of an injury to his right middle finger. … Catcher Jesus Montero, looking visibly nervous, apologized to teammates and fans as he reported for the first time since receiving a 50-game PED-related suspension.

METS: Right-hander Jose Valverde, 35, a three-time All-Star closer who struggled last season, agreed to a minor-league deal.

ROYALS: All-Star closer Greg Holland agreed to a one-year contract worth $4,675,000, avoiding arbitration.

YANKEES: Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka finished his first throwing session with the team at the spring complex in Tampa. Pitching coach and former Rays manager Larry Rothschild said Tanaka "looked good" during a long toss session.

Information from Times wires was used in this report. Marc Topkin can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @TBTimes_Rays.

Comments
Former Rays pitcher Danny Farquhar “progressing well’ after surgery

Former Rays pitcher Danny Farquhar “progressing well’ after surgery

As former teammates with the Rays and throughout baseball share thoughts and prayers, RHP Danny Farquhar is "progressing well" in a Chicago hospital after suffering a hemorrhage caused by a brain aneurysm on Friday.The White Sox on Monday released th...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Alex Cobb and Logan Morrison have ex-Ray vision. Here’s what they see.

Alex Cobb and Logan Morrison have ex-Ray vision. Here’s what they see.

ST. PETERSBURG — Absolutely, Alex Cobb was saying over the phone, it's going to be weird pitching Tuesday against the Rays.The organization that he owes so much for rearing him since high school, standing by him through assorted injuries, enabl...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays win on Carlos Gomez’s walkoff home run

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays win on Carlos Gomez’s walkoff home run

Carlos Gomez, who had been struggling, delivers a two-run, walkoff home run as the Rays sweep the Twins for the first time at Tropicana Field. Rick Stroud discusses the moment and the celebration that followed Gomez's first career walkoff hit in toda...
Published: 04/23/18
Rays are suddenly swinging hot bats, but will it last?

Rays are suddenly swinging hot bats, but will it last?

ST. PETERSBURG — Good pitching and hitting go hand in glove, but the Rays did not look like a team that could swing the bats very well until this completed homestand.In their series sweep over the Twins, Tampa Bay scored 8, 10 and 8 runs. ...
Published: 04/22/18
Rick Stroud’s takeaways from Rays-Twins

Rick Stroud’s takeaways from Rays-Twins

–Yonny Chirinos may be the Rays fourth starter, but it seems to be in name only. He was lifted after pitching 4 2/3 innings against the Twin on Sunday, the shortest start of his career and his second-shortest appearance.  "Going into the g...
Published: 04/22/18
Rays’ Carlos Gomez hits two-run walkoff homer to beat Twins for series sweep

Rays’ Carlos Gomez hits two-run walkoff homer to beat Twins for series sweep

ST. PETERSBURG — With every swing, there is a chance Carlos Gomez is going to do something extraordinary with the baseball bat.He may swing so violently that he spins himself into the ground as if he were an oil drill. Or, you could see him sna...
Published: 04/22/18
For starters: Rays vs. Twins, going for the first series sweep of the season, 1:10 p.m.

For starters: Rays vs. Twins, going for the first series sweep of the season, 1:10 p.m.

Rays pitcher Yonny Chirinos is no longer just part of a bullpen day, he's the No. 4 starter and who goes to the mound at 1:10 p.m. against Phil Hughes to try to help Tampa Bay attempt to complete a three-game sweep of the Twins.Catcher Wilson Ramos g...
Published: 04/22/18
Rays thoughts are with ex-teammate Danny Farquhar

Rays thoughts are with ex-teammate Danny Farquhar

Members of the Rays organization sent their thoughts and prayers to former teammate Danny Farquhar, who was hospitalized Saturday night in Chicago in stable but critical condition after suffering a brain hemorrhage caused by a ruptured aneurysm.Farqu...
Published: 04/22/18
Rays on Sunday: 1:10 vs. Twins

Rays on Sunday: 1:10 vs. Twins

Sunday vs. Twins1:10, Tropicana FieldTV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 760-AM (Spanish)Tickets: $20-$300; available at Tropicana Field box office, raysbaseball.com, surcharge of up to $5 within five hours of game.Promotion: Mascot socks for kids 14 a...
Published: 04/22/18
Rays Journal: Team effort pays off in 10-1 win over Twins

Rays Journal: Team effort pays off in 10-1 win over Twins

ST. PETERSBURG – Let's be clear here, the Rays still have a long way to go, and a lot of ground to make up.But seeing them play like they did Saturday in beating the Twins 10-1, putting on a solid all-around show in cobbling their first three-g...
Published: 04/21/18
Updated: 04/22/18