Friday, April 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays continue trade talks as players wait for news

ST. PETERSBURG — Infielder Steve Pearce and starters Chris Archer, Matt Moore, Jake Odorizzi and Drew Smyly all walked out of Tropicana Field on Sunday still members of the Rays.

Which ones still are after today's 4 p.m. trade deadline will depend on the denouement of discussions with other teams that started weeks ago and carried into Sunday night.

"It looked like baseball was busy (Saturday) night into the late hours, and I'm sure that will be the same (Sunday) night and up until the deadline," Rays manager Kevin Cash said.

Having four starting pitchers of assorted value and quality has made the Rays a popular subject of discussion and speculation.

Sunday afternoon saw the rekindling of oft-tossed rumors involving a big deal involving Archer or Moore with the Dodgers, run by former Rays boss Andrew Friedman.

Feeding the Dodgers speculation: two of their top prospects, Cody Bellinger and Alex Verdugo, being scratched from a Double-A game; starter Bud Norris leaving Sunday's game due to injury; Tampa Bay scouts being seen at Dodgers minor-league games; and the close relationship between Friedman and Rays baseball operations president Matt Silverman.

Archer was aware late Sunday afternoon of the renewed speculation but maintained that he wasn't worried about the possibility and was "staying present" as he is scheduled to start tonight for the Rays.

"I'm human — it'll probably cross my mind," Archer said. "But my focus is pitching (tonight), so I'm going to do my normal routine — get a good meal in, get to bed at a decent hour and just go from there."

The Dodgers are one of several teams the Rays have engaged with that have the type of high-end young talent they would want in return, others including the Cubs, Giants, Pirates and Rangers, all of whom had scouts at the Trop during the weekend. Also represented during the three-game sweep of the Yankees were the Blue Jays, Indians, Marlins, Orioles and White Sox.

Though Archer would bring the highest return, Moore is still considered the Rays starter most likely to be traded. That's in part due to his improved performance, and in part to his contract status, as he heads into the first of three option years, due either a $7 million salary or $2.5 million buyout. As Moore left the Trop clubhouse Sunday he said he expected to still be with the Rays today.

Pearce, who as a veteran on a one-year deal is expected to be dealt, was held out of the Rays lineup Sunday, which seemed to be a sign that a trade was pending, with the Indians among those interested.

"Just doing what I'm told," Pearce said. "Maybe just a day game after a night game off. You guys know more than me."

Given the dearth of starting pitching available now — and on the free agent market over the winter — the Rays are in position to demand a high price, so it may just be a matter of waiting until someone meets it.

The Yankees, in admittedly a slightly better position in holding two of the game's premium closers (plus Dellin Betances), took full advantage in the past week, trading Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs and Andrew Miller to the Indians for a treasure trove of young talent.

"If you possess an extremely high-talented closer, as we did … you could exploit this market pretty strongly if you were willing to delve in those waters," general manager Brian Cashman said Sunday.

Marc Topkin can be reached at [email protected]. Follow @TBTimes_Rays.

Comments
Wall Street Journal: Baseball in Florida ‘has been a disaster’

Wall Street Journal: Baseball in Florida ‘has been a disaster’

The Rays and Miami Marlins "are at a moment of reckoning" after histories of low attendance and an offseason in which they sold off many of their top players and were singled out by the MLB Players Association for failing to spend revenue-sharing mon...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays’ Chris Archer ready to move past messy outing tonight against Twins

Rays’ Chris Archer ready to move past messy outing tonight against Twins

Rays RHP Chris Archer goes into tonight's start against the Twins with no trouble moving on from his messy Saturday performance against the Phillies that included arguably the worst inning of his career."It's already gone," Archer said Wednesday...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Memorable off day for Rays’ Ryan Yarbrough

Memorable off day for Rays’ Ryan Yarbrough

Rays rookie LHP Ryan Yarbrough has enjoyed everything about his first major-league experience, from pitching in the games to traveling in top-notch style to getting to play in front of family and friends to seeing his first paycheck.And then the Lake...
Updated: 3 hours ago
The Mallex Smith effect can take effect for Rays

The Mallex Smith effect can take effect for Rays

ST. PETERSBURG — Mallex Smith has style.Effervescent personality. Pop culture hipness. Sense of fashion with accoutrements.Now the Rays are going to find out if he has game.More specifically, enough game to be a front-line outfielder, even an i...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Rays journal: Whew. Alex Colome gets the job done

Rays journal: Whew. Alex Colome gets the job done

ST. PETERSBURG — In the end, Alex Colome got the three outs to save the game, the day and the stomach linings of his bosses from further deterioration, so in theory that should be what mattered most Wednesday.And the fact that he was smiling in...
Published: 04/18/18
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays’ 4-2 Wednesday win

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays’ 4-2 Wednesday win

Alex Colome's ninth-inning dramatics took the focus, but the work of newly corn-rowed RHP Chaz Roe in the seventh (three Ks) and LHP Jose Alvarado (one K, two infield outs) was textbook, and showed how the bullpen can work.RELATED: Whew. Alex Colome ...
Published: 04/18/18
Anonymous Rays rally to beat Rangers 4-2, win series

Anonymous Rays rally to beat Rangers 4-2, win series

ST. PETERSBURG — Even before they lost several of the hitters they were relying most on to injuries, the Rays did not exactly have a lineup built on intimidation.Their own owner said opening day that he expected them to rank among the least pro...
Published: 04/18/18
Rays Baldelli makes a key catch

Rays Baldelli makes a key catch

Rays coach Rocco Baldelli was all smiles Wednesday morning, happy to play a role through social media in reuniting a lost dog and its owner."I feel really good about how this worked out," Baldelli said.REUNITED! Thank you everyone for spreading the w...
Published: 04/18/18
For starters: Rays vs. Rangers, with Faria on the hill

For starters: Rays vs. Rangers, with Faria on the hill

UPDATE, 12:01: Cash said Brad Miller (groin) got through his rehab game with the Stone Crabs well last night playing first and will play second tonight, with the likely plan to be off Thursday and rejoin the Rays Friday. … With 3B Matt Duffy on...
Published: 04/18/18
Rays, Chirinos fall to Rangers, 7-2

Rays, Chirinos fall to Rangers, 7-2

ST. PETERSBURG — For three outings, rookie Yonny Chirinos had been stellar in making a case to join the Rays' starting rotation, not allowing a single run in the first 141/3 innings of his major-league career.That perfection came to an inevitab...
Published: 04/17/18
Updated: 04/18/18