Saturday, November 18, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays players want closure as trade deadline nears

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ST. PETERSBURG — With the finish line of Monday's 4 p.m. trade deadline finally in sight, Rays officials continued talking Saturday night and Rays players continued waiting.

"I just want to get it over with," said infielder Steve Pearce, who seems the Ray most likely to be dealt. "If I'm going to get traded, trade me. If I'm not getting traded, I want to stay here. Let me know, and let's strap it on and go play some baseball. It's coming at me from every angle. I just want to concentrate on baseball right now."

The Indians, Mets and Orioles are considered most interested in Pearce, a productive hitter on a one-year, $4.75 million deal, but there are believed to be at least several others. The return is likely to be mid-level prospects.

Bigger deals would involve the Rays starters, with indications Drew Smyly, pitching better after extended struggles, could be in play.

A scout from the rotation-thin Pirates arrived at the Trop on Saturday to watch Smyly pitch, joining a group of evaluators from the Angels, Blue Jays, Cubs, Dodgers, Giants, Indians, Marlins, Rangers, Royals and White Sox, many of whom watched Jake Odorizzi excel Friday.

Matt Moore would bring a heftier return based on his recent success, with the Giants joining a group of interested teams that includes the Cubs, Dodgers and Rangers, among others.

Moore has made it clear he doesn't want to go anywhere.

"It's not like any of us are privy to those conversations," he said Saturday. "I'm trying to just trust where I'm at right now. I don't think there's any reason to do anything different. There's nothing positive to come from it. … At the same time, I'll be happy when the calendar turns over."

The Cardinals are among teams looking to the Rays for bullpen help, with Erasmo Ramirez a possibility. The O's were also reported to have interest in Ramirez.

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