Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays excited about defense of new catcher Hanigan

ST. PETERSBURG — New C Ryan Hanigan hasn't caught a game for the Rays yet, but he already has the pitching staff pretty pumped.

"Have heard he's an excellent teammate," starter Alex Cobb said. "And a genius behind the plate."

Hanigan, 33, acquired from the Reds last month in a three-team deal with the Diamondbacks, comes with a reputation as a top game-caller and a defensive stalwart. Though the Rays expect Hanigan, who hit .196 in an injury-plagued 2013 season, to improve offensively, a big reason they signed him to a three-year, $10.75 million deal (with 2017 option) is his ability to work with pitchers and control the running game.

Reds manager Bryan Price saw that dynamic up close as Cincinnati's pitching coach the past four seasons.

"People like to throw to him, and that typically comes with trust and success," Price said. "He has a great feel. He's a guy that's good with reports and adjustments. He wants to do something early or come out of character, to make an adjustment, if he sees something. He's a very crafty guy. He's really good.

"You can put him behind home plate and by the first at-bat he'll have some understanding of strengths and weaknesses" of the hitter.

What will also endear Hanigan to pitchers is how he shuts down attempted base stealers. The Rays struggled in that category last year, throwing out 33 of 152 runners (21.7 percent). Hanigan, expected to be the Rays' primary catcher, has gunned down 42.3 percent over past two years, second best in the majors to Cardinals All-Star Yadier Molina.

"He's very quick, and he's very athletic," Price said. "But more than anything, he's as accurate a guy as I've seen. He's terrific."

RAYS RUMBLINGS: Though the Rays aren't likely to be major players for recently posted free agent RHP Masahiro Tanaka, the Japanese sensation can still affect their offseason plans. Some of the potential suitors for Tanaka might also be looking into trading for ace LHP David Price. … The Rays' three-year, $21 million deal with 1B James Loney is expected to finally be announced this week. … Rays free agent OF Sam Fuld is reportedly weighing five minor-league contract offers, and a return to Tampa Bay hasn't been ruled out. … In addition to doubling his salary, former Rays RH reliever Jamey Wright won't have to enter spring training on a minor-league deal for the first time in nine years, thanks to the one-year, $1.8 million contract he signed with the Dodgers last week.

Joe Smith can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @TBTimes_JSmith.

Comments
Tampa Bay Rays making progress in trade talks

Tampa Bay Rays making progress in trade talks

Without getting into specifics – especially the who and the where – Rays officials are for the first time talking optimistically about making a trade before the winter meetings end Thursday.Speaking at around 5:15, senior VP Chaim Bloom s...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 3 – updated with news

Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 3 – updated with news

UPDATE, 5:55: Trade talks apparently picked up this afternoon, perhaps related to previous activity by other teams, and for first time Rays officials sound like something could happen tonight."At this point today, some of those conversations are movi...
Updated: 22 minutes ago

Winter meetings journal: Rays trade for money to sign top international free agent

LAKE BUENA VISTA — While most of the business conducted at the meetings impacts the big-league team one way or another, the Rays are working to finalize a move they hope pays off big sometime in the 2020s.In trading Wednesday to acquire $1 million in...
Updated: 12 minutes ago
Market starting to set itself as Rays’ trade talks intensify

Market starting to set itself as Rays’ trade talks intensify

LAKE BUENA VISTA — Alex Colome claimed he was just showing good social media manners Tuesday night in following four Cardinals-related Instagram accounts since they were saying nice things about him.In doing so, whether for that reason or another, Co...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Alex Corddry won’t be back on Tampa Bay Rays telecasts

Alex Corddry won’t be back on Tampa Bay Rays telecasts

Alex Corddry won't be back on Fox Sports Sun's Tampa Bay Rays telecasts.Corddry completed a one-year contract with Fox, serving as the pre-, post- and in-game reporter.  She also covers college football for ESPN and does freelance work in the Wa...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Is Alex Colome telling us something about Rays’ plans with his Instagram account?

Is Alex Colome telling us something about Rays’ plans with his Instagram account?

UPDATE, 9:22: So, Colome says he was just using good social media manners, tweeting (at 4:15) this morning:"I keep getting nice messages and tags from those accounts, so I gave them a follow"And, keeping his emoji game strong, adding one with arms up...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Rick and Tom podcast: Should the Rays go full fire-sale mode?

Rick and Tom podcast: Should the Rays go full fire-sale mode?

As baseball’s hot stove starts heating up, should the Rays go full fire sale to build for the future?In their latest podcast, Rick Stroud and Tom Jones discuss whether the Rays should trade guys like Evan Longoria, Chris Archer, Alex Colome and more,...
Published: 12/13/17
Canseco’s tweets about sexual misconduct could jeopardize job on A’s telecasts

Canseco’s tweets about sexual misconduct could jeopardize job on A’s telecasts

LAKE BUENA VISTA — A series of tweets by former Tampa Bay Devil Rays and Oakland Athletics slugger Jose Canseco about sexual misconduct and politicians could put in jeopardy his job as a studio analyst on A’s telecasts. Canseco posted several times ...
Published: 12/13/17
Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 2 – with some news

Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 2 – with some news

UPDATE, 8:45: Tommy Hunter parlayed his solid 2017 season with the Rays into a two-year deal with the Phillies.UPDATE, 7:13: Unexpected sighting in the meetings lobby: Luke Scott, who looked in great shape at 39 and is at least talking about playing ...
Published: 12/12/17
Updated: 12/13/17

Winter meetings journal: Rays add more infield depth, claim it isn’t prelude to a trade

LAKE BUENA VISTA — The Rays on Tuesday adding their third infielder in the past two weeks would sure look like a precursor to trading front-liners such as 3B Evan Longoria or 2B Brad Miller.But GM Erik Neander insisted that was not the case and that ...
Published: 12/12/17