Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays' Maddon not looking forward to losing Price

LAKE BUENA VISTA — It's still all just talk, the idea of the Rays trading David Price, rumors and innuendo that the ace left-hander soon could be heading to the Mariners, Dodgers, Rangers or elsewhere.

Manager Joe Maddon is listening, presumably with better sources than the rest of us, and already has one word in mind for the possibility:

Devastating.

"You know, it's never a good thought to lose a player like that, the potential thought of losing a player like that," Maddon said during his winter meetings interview session.

"What I've heard is, obviously, what everybody else is hearing, there is a lot of conjecture and talk about it. When you lose a player of that magnitude, not just the fact that he's such a good pitcher, but this guy … matters a lot in the clubhouse and to the team.

"Having said all those things, then again, it's just how we have to operate within our little world. So if it were to happen, it's one of those, it's almost the word 'devastating' in a sense, but we have to recover from those kind of moments if it does actually occur."

Maddon, naturally, believes the Rays can withstand the loss, just as they did last offseason following the trade of James Shields and the departures of others before him.

He spoke confidently Monday of Alex Cobb stepping up and into the leadership void. And of Jake Odorizzi deserving the first shot at claiming the open rotation spot, with Alex Colome next, though raising the possibility that they would add a more experienced starter from the outside.

Though Price's future has been the primary topic of discussion — and tweeting — around the meetings, the Rays may still be early in the process, which fits with their deliberate process-oriented approach. Plus, with an organizational aversion to the winter meetings spotlight, it's less likely they would consummate a deal here anyway.

Rays executive vice president Andrew Friedman said only that he met with several teams Monday on several subjects, while one general manager who may have interest in Price said it's still early in the game.

"I haven't heard yet that he's actually out there to be had," Arizona's Kevin Towers said. "I think they will (talk about him), but I don't think right yet."

The Mariners continue to be the leading subject of speculation, though GM Jack Zduriencik claimed Monday they would not deal top pitching prospect Taijuan Walker, who would seem to have to be part of the deal.

"Taijuan is a great piece for us,'' he said. "So right now we are very happy with Taijuan and I expect Taijuan to be with us."

And though the Rangers have been rumored, GM Jon Daniels said they are "probably not" in the market for a top starter and that "there doesn't appear to be a fit for us.''

Even if the Rays find a team willing to meet the expected high cost in terms of young talent, there may be another complicating factor. With Price heading to free agency after the 2015 season, Towers said most teams likely would want a window to try to negotiate a long-term deal.

"I'm sure the biggest fear for clubs is can you sign him … into his free-agent years," Towers said. "You're probably willing to give up the players if you think you've got an opportunity."

The Rays, though, may not want to play along. Friedman wouldn't answer specifically but said trades are hard enough to arrange "and when you start throwing a lot of other variables on top of trying to line up to make a trade, it obviously just adds more complexity. And so, simply said, our goal in making trades is to make it as simple as possible, and that's our approach."

Comments
What if the Rays actually have a good plan?

What if the Rays actually have a good plan?

PORT CHARLOTTE — Going against popular opinion, here's an odd thought to ponder:What if the Rays actually know what they're doing?The deal agreed to Wednesday afternoon with veteran outfielder Carlos Gomez — one year for a hefty-for-them ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Dick Vitale to Rays owner Stu Sternberg: Sell the team

Dick Vitale to Rays owner Stu Sternberg: Sell the team

PORT CHARLOTTE – Dick Vitale, the Rays' most visible and, as of late, vocal fan, took to Twitter and the 620-AM airwaves Wednesday morning and later in the day in a phone call to the Tampa Bay Times to blast his local baseball team.Vitale, ESPN...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Denard Span on new Ray Anthony Banda: ‘Guy is pretty legit’

Denard Span on new Ray Anthony Banda: ‘Guy is pretty legit’

PORT CHARLOTTE — 2B Nick Solak reported to camp Wednesday, while LHP Anthony Banda, the other player acquired in the Steven Souza Jr. trade, is on his way.Banda, whose fastball hits the mid-90s, pitched in eight games last season with the Diamo...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Rays move fast to fill void, sign Carlos Gomez

Rays move fast to fill void, sign Carlos Gomez

PORT CHARLOTTE — The Rays moved quickly to fill the void created by Tuesday's trade of RF Steven Souza Jr., agreeing to a one-year deal Wednesday afternoon with veteran OF Carlos Gomez.The deal, pending a physical, will pay Gomez $4-million...
Updated: 10 hours ago
The brawls new Rays rightfielder Carlos Gomez inspired

The brawls new Rays rightfielder Carlos Gomez inspired

The Rays new rightfielder Carlos Gomez is, as the Times' Rays beat writer Marc Topkin describes him, a "somewhat emotional" player.That reputation in part comes from his role in inspiring a handful of benches-clearing brawls. Here's a look at few of ...
Updated: 12 hours ago
With Souza the latest to be gone, what do Rays have left? Well …

With Souza the latest to be gone, what do Rays have left? Well …

The first question to ask, understandably, is who do the Rays have left?And, after they Tuesday added 2017 team MVP Steven Souza Jr. to the list of departees that had just included Corey Dickerson and Jake Odorizzi, the next to ask is what do they ha...
Published: 02/21/18
Another question for Rays after trading Souza: What to do with these …

Another question for Rays after trading Souza: What to do with these …

Having traded 2017 team MVP Steven Souza Jr. to Arizona, Rays baseball officials are now looking for a way to replace him on the field.And now Rays marketing officials also have to decide what to do with the spot he held in their lineup, having sched...
Published: 02/21/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: The Rays fire sale is on

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: The Rays fire sale is on

The fire sale is on for the Rays, as they trade Steven Souza, Jr., to Arizona to trim more payroll for this season.In his lastest podcast, Rick Stroud says he feels bad for Rays fans, as many of their favorite players have left the team, including Ev...
Published: 02/21/18
Steven Souza trade: Instant reaction to the Rays latest deal

Steven Souza trade: Instant reaction to the Rays latest deal

The Rays traded right fielder Steven Souza, Jr., their 2017 team MVP, to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night in a three-team deal for Arizona's No. 2 prospect, lefty Anthony Banda, Yankees infield prospect Nick Solak and two players to be named...
Published: 02/20/18
Updated: 02/21/18
Rays trade team MVP Steven Souza Jr. in three-team deal that nets prospects

Rays trade team MVP Steven Souza Jr. in three-team deal that nets prospects

PORT CHARLOTTE — Evan Longoria traded in December. Jake Odorizzi and Corey Dickerson dumped over the weekend. Then, in a stunning move Tuesday night, 2017 team MVP Steven Souza Jr. shipped to Arizona as part of a three-team deal that netted onl...
Published: 02/20/18
Updated: 02/21/18