ST. PETERSBURG — LHP Matt Moore has not gone out of his way to check on the trade rumors involving his name, but his friends and family have, and they are keeping him posted.
Moore starts this afternoon against the visiting Angels, which means a few more scouts will be on hand to watch the game. The Royals and Rangers are already scouting Moore. The number of teams will increase as the Aug. 1 nonwaiver trade deadline nears, especially if Moore continues to pitch well.
With the Rays at the midway point of the season with a 33-48 record after Sunday's 5-1 loss to the Tigers, and with Moore due $7 million (or a $2.5 million buyout) next season during the first of three club option years, it would not be a reach to see the Rays dump his salary this summer.
"Obviously that's external," Moore said of the trade rumors. "There are things that are going on in our clubhouse that are on the forefront of my mind right now, and that's to get us back in a good place, which is to win more games than we're losing. But for that other stuff, I still feel very comfortable where we are right now. I'm not really sure what's going on there, but I don't feel like anything is going to happen, to be honest with you."
ARCHER IMPRESSIVE: Despite RHP Chris Archer's slow start in the game — he didn't record an out until his 21st pitch — manager Kevin Cash was impressed with the outing, especially with the way Archer turned it on after loading the bases with no outs in the first inning.
Archer struck out the next three and held the Tigers to three hits in 51/3 scoreless innings.
"He kicked it in gear and kind of showed up (as) the Archer we know he's very capable of being," Cash said.
Tigers 2B Ian Kinsler, who walked and struck out twice against Archer, was also impressed.
"Archer's stuff is as electric as it gets in the game," Kinsler said. "He's as tough an at-bat as there is."
FARQUHAR AND THE LONG BALL: RHP Danny Farquhar picked up the final four outs, but not before allowing another home run. Farquhar, who allowed a three-run homer Thursday to Tigers DH Victor Martinez, allowed a two-run homer to Kinsler in the ninth inning. He has now allowed homers in five of his past six appearances with the Rays and six in his 102/3 innings this season at the big-league level. All his runs allowed have come on home runs.
INTERNATIONAL FLAVOR: The Rays signed 12 international players: SS Luis Arcendo (Dominican Republic), OF Roimer Bolivar (Venezuela), RHP Jose De Los Santos (DR), RHP Jeremy Galan (Dominican Republic), OF Diego Infante (Venezuela), SS Angel Lopez (Venezuela), C Angel Nelo (Venezuela), SS Abiezel Ramirez (DR), RHP Angel Ramirez (DR), RHP Rodolfo Sanchez (DR), RHP Daniel Santana (Venezuela) and SS Dewins Verbel (Colombia).
NOTEWORTHY: The Rays will decide today if RHP Alex Cobb (Tommy John surgery) begins his minor-league rehab this week or throws another round of live batting practice. … The 2014 Rays were also 15 games under .500 at the midway point of the season. … Kinsler's home run was the 200th of his career. … 2B Logan Forsythe extended his hitting streak to nine games. … C Curt Casali drove in the Rays' lone run. The former Detroit prospect has seven career RBIs against the Tigers.