Saturday, June 23, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays in talks with Odorizzi about contract extension

NASHVILLE — The Rays are having talks with other teams that could involve trading RHP Jake Odorizzi in the next few days. But they also are having discussions with Odorizzi that could keep him tied to the Rays for a half-dozen more years.

The Rays have offered Odorizzi a multi-million-dollar contract extension that includes team options which carry past his 2020 start of free agency, the Times has learned. Agent Jason Wood said there is mutual interest to soon make a counter offer, with resolution in the next month or so.

"It's a very nice initial offer," Wood said. "Jake really likes being there, really likes the camaraderie, really likes (pitching coach Jim) Hickey. Of course he wants to be treated fairly. There's a lot of reasons talks should go on."

Odorizzi, 25, is a relative bargain, making around $550,000 this season and next before becoming arbitration eligible. Specifics on the offer were not available. With less service time, RHP Chris Archer in 2014 signed a six-year deal that guaranteed him $25.5 million and included two option years with salaries of $9 million and $11 million.

The Rays have signed a number of young players to long-term deals, with mixed results, and have been unable to strike deals with others, including RHP Alex Cobb, who was in talks last spring before getting injured. LHP prospect Blake Snell has also been the subject of at least internal talks about receiving a long-term offer, and CF Kevin Kiermaier would seem to be another potential candidate.

BUTLER GONE: The Rays lost the gamble of putting OF Joey Butler on waivers as he was claimed by the Indians. Butler, who provided a huge early season offensive spark by hitting .338 through mid June, was designated for assignment by the Rays after last week's acquisition of C Hank Conger, though they hoped to sign him back to a minor-league deal. "Joey was a huge part of the success we had last year," executive VP Chaim Bloom said. "We were hoping that we would be able to get him through (waivers) and keep him, but unfortunately that's what the waiver process is for and the Indians claimed him."

RAYS RUMBLINGS: A spring fishing trip with manager Kevin Cash and bench coach Tom Foley, a spot in the team photo and a round of batting practice with the team before a spring game are part of an MLB-wide auction this week to benefit cancer research; see mlb.com/SU2Cauction. … Cash had his turn in the media room Monday and said he feels much more comfortable than last year, when he arrived at the meetings days after being hired: "I was walking around and didn't really know where I was going, didn't know who I was talking to. A lot of introductory conversations." … Minor-league medical coordinator Joe Benge was named the minor-league athletic trainer of the year by the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society, which also gave 20-year awards to team doctors Koco Eaton, Michael Reilly and James Andrews. … Among the onlookers (and job-seekers) was 1B Allen Dykstra, who played briefly with the Rays last season.

AROUND THE MAJORS: After a talk today with Nationals officials completes his thorough information-gathering process, ex-Rays INF/OF Ben Zobrist is set to make a decision on where to sign, with the Mets, Giants and Dodgers among the options. … A deal that would have sent Reds LH closer Aroldis Chapman to the Dodgers for two prospects was put on hold after reports surfaced of a domestic violence incident involving Chapman. … Zobrist's decision is expected to open the way for a series of other signings, with ex-Rays SS Asdrubal Cabrera, for example, a backup option for the Mets. … The Red Sox continued to remake their pitching staff, acquiring RH reliever Carson Smith and LH Roenis Elias from Seattle for LHP Wade Miley and RHP Jonathan Aro. … There continued to be conflicting reports on the availability of Marlins ace RHP Jose Fernandez, the Alonso High product. … RHP Chris Young re-signed with the Royals. … Hall of Famer Cal Ripken was named Special Adviser to the Commissioner on youth programs and outreach. … A committee considered 10 candidates from the pre-integration era (through 1946) but didn't elect any to the Hall of Fame.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

Comments
Rays Tales: Why ‘trades’ and ‘prospects’ are always in same conversation

Rays Tales: Why ‘trades’ and ‘prospects’ are always in same conversation

Besides the continual evolution of their intriguing pitching plan, the primary topics of conversation for the Rays over the next several weeks will be trades and prospects. And not mutually exclusively.Some sooner than others, the Rays are going to c...
Updated: 12 minutes ago
For starters: Rays vs. Yankees, looking for two straight

For starters: Rays vs. Yankees, looking for two straight

UPDATE, 2:38: Clarifying what was a communication error with the team PR staff, Rays manager Kevin Cash said LHP Blake Snell was slated for an extra day's rest all along and will face the Nationals on Monday not the Yankees on Sunday. The Rays will u...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Rodney Page’s takeaways from Rays-Yankees

Rodney Page’s takeaways from Rays-Yankees

1. SS Willy Adames had a nice night, and there appear to be many more in his future. He had two hits, an RBI and an inning-ending leaping catch on a line drive by Didi Gregorius in the fifth.2. DH C.J. Cron needs to shake things up. Take a different ...
Published: 06/22/18
Marc Anthony pays a visit to the Trop

Marc Anthony pays a visit to the Trop

By Allana BarefieldTimes Staff WriterST. PETERSBURG — Latin pop star Marc Anthony visited Tropicana Field on Friday to see his beloved Yankees play the Rays.Anthony spent nearly an hour on the field before the game as fans and players surrounde...
Published: 06/22/18
Rays journal: Daniel Robertson’s return crowds up infield

Rays journal: Daniel Robertson’s return crowds up infield

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays reinstated INF Daniel Robertson from the 10-day disabled list (left hamstring strain). To make room, RHP Austin Pruitt was sent to Triple-A Durham."It's out of my mind. I don't think about (the hamstring) when I'm bend...
Published: 06/22/18
Rays hang on for a 2-1 win over Yankees

Rays hang on for a 2-1 win over Yankees

ST. PETERSBURG – Many times this season the Rays' strategy of opening the game with a short reliever and using the bullpen to finish hasn't had much success.Friday wasn't one of those nights.A total of six pitchers held the Yankees and their va...
Published: 06/22/18
Missed time a good mental reset for Rays’ Matt Duffy

Missed time a good mental reset for Rays’ Matt Duffy

ST. PETERSBURG — Missing all of 2017 might have been the absolute worst thing for Matt Duffy.Frustratingly idled as he eventually recovered and rehabbed from ongoing left heel issues, he couldn't play the game he loved, couldn't show the Rays o...
Published: 06/21/18
Updated: 06/22/18
Rays journal: Jake Bauers proves he’s up to speed on bases

Rays journal: Jake Bauers proves he’s up to speed on bases

ST. PETERSBURG – Rookie 1B Jake Bauers has impressed at the plate and in the field since his June 7 promotion.Also, with his hustling on the bases."I knew he played hard; everybody said that at every level,'' manager Kevin Cash said. "I di...
Published: 06/21/18
Rays journal: 7 pitches, 3 straight homers prove too much in loss to Astros

Rays journal: 7 pitches, 3 straight homers prove too much in loss to Astros

HOUSTON — The Rays were engaged in a third straight tight, go-either-way battle with the defending champ Astros on Wednesday.Until they were not.A brutal seven-pitch sequence by starter Nathan Eovaldi changed everything, as he gave up three con...
Published: 06/21/18
Rays see the results of keeping a good, young core group together

Rays see the results of keeping a good, young core group together

HOUSTON — The Rays saw a lot on the weeklong trip that ended with Wednesday's game against that Astros, beyond the street hustlers prowling in Times Square and the urban cowboys and girls parading through H-town.There was an impressive debuting...
Published: 06/20/18
Updated: 06/21/18