Rays drawing some interest in Wil Myers

Wil Myers is coming off a disappointing, injury-marred season, but the Rays expect him to reclaim his rookie of the year form. EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times
Wil Myers is coming off a disappointing, injury-marred season, but the Rays expect him to reclaim his rookie of the year form.EVE EDELHEIT | Times
Published December 10 2014

SAN DIEGO — Matt Joyce is the outfielder the Rays are most likely to trade.

But Wil Myers is the outfielder that could bring the Rays the most in trade.

About a half-dozen teams have called the Rays about Myers, the 2013 AL rookie of the year who had a disappointing and injury-interrupted 2014 season, hitting .222 with six homers and 35 RBIs in 87 games.

Though it's not like the Rays to trade low, and they are actually looking for ways to boost their offense, as Myers can, they could be tempted to deal him if the package — whether it's one top young player or a package of several — was worthwhile.

Otherwise, they expect him to perform closer to his 2013 form, when he hit .293/13/53 in 88 games.

"We don't have any questions about Wil," baseball operations president Matt Silverman said. "The guy we saw last year was injured and didn't really have a chance to demonstrate what he has. We look at him as a rookie of the year who really missed most of the season and expect him to be back in that form as a formidable bat in the middle of the lineup who also plays a pretty good outfield."

Other outfielders who could be traded are David DeJesus and Desmond Jennings. Silverman, though, said Jennings (whose sore knee is better) is "an incredibly valuable player all around, and there's a reason why he's a mainstay in our lineup and a big part of our plans," indicating he is likely to remain in centerfield.

The Rays continued trade talks with a growing number of teams (around 15) on several fronts — including dealing from outfield depth and seeking a second catcher — but didn't have anything imminent as of Tuesday evening.

"Many different conversations with a wider range of teams," Silverman said. "It feels like everyone has settled in and we all have clearer directions on potential overlaps, so the conversations are a little bit more pointed so the pace is picking up, but as usual it's difficult to predict when things might happen, if at all."

MORE RAYS: LHP Matt Moore's recovery from Tommy John surgery is on schedule, with his return for the rotation targeted most likely in June. … Silverman said he and new manager Kevin Cash had a nice talk over lunch at the popular Puesto Mexican street food restaurant near the meetings hotel: "He actually paid for lunch, which (ticked) me off." … The player coming back from the Pirates in the INF/OF Sean Rodriguez trade is a minor-leaguer who will be named after Thursday's Rule 5 draft. … Silverman said they wouldn't rule out acquiring a true DH but seem more likely to rotate the at-bats and play matchups as they did at times last season.

REST OF THE STORY: After late-Monday deals that saw the White Sox sign former Yankees closer David Robertson (four years, $46 million) and acquire RHP Jeff Samardzija in a six-player deal, there wasn't much action as of Tuesday evening. The Cubs acquired C Miguel Montero in trade from the Diamondbacks, and free agent LHP Jon Lester at least moved closer to a decision by eliminating the Giants from consideration, narrowing his choice to the Cubs and Red Sox.

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