Friday, November 24, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays still hoping to re-sign Loney

RECOMMENDED READING


LAKE BUENA VISTA — The Rays' search for a first baseman still seems focused on getting free agent James Loney to return, manager Joe Maddon making a personal pitch with a recent phone call.

"He was very non-committal in his conversation," Maddon said. "He was very nice, very cordial, very good. But I think he's in a position right now to probably go after the best contract he's ever going to get. So do I blame him? No. Do I want him back? Yes."

With reports Loney is seeking a three-year, $27 million to $30 million deal, the Rays may be trying to wait him out, knowing there has been little movement among other options on the trade and free-agent market. He played for $2 million in 2013.

Miami seems likely to move Logan Morrison — with further chatter Monday about the Marlins' reported interest in Sean Rodriguez — and the Mets say they'd like to deal either Ike Davis or Lucas Duda soon.

Rays executive vice president Andrew Friedman said after a Monday of talks — more with other teams than agents — that nothing was imminent on filling their primary hole. He said they would prefer a left-handed hitter.

"We have X number of viable candidates, so it's about lining it up and figuring out what the percentage changes are of getting our first target, our second and working down it," Friedman said. "Just trying to make sure when the music stops that we have a chair and that we're happy with the outcome. … How we end up doing that, I don't know right now."

The Rays also are planning to trade C Jose Lobaton, and may be looking to deal OF Matt Joyce, though that wouldn't do much for their quest to add left-handed power.

RHP Jamey Wright is deciding between returning to the Rays or signing with the Dodgers, according to Fox Sports.

RAYS REPORT: Monday was the anniversary of the Wil Myers trade, with agent Jeff Berry, co-head of CAA Baseball, saying it has been "a wonderful year" but there has been no talk of a long-term contract. … Chris Westmoreland, who had been the home clubhouse/equipment manager, will take over travel director duties, with assistant Jose Fernandez getting a larger clubhouse role. …Principal owner Stuart Sternberg arrived. … Though there are thousands of baseball people at the Dolphin and Swan hotels, Rays TV broadcaster Brian Anderson showed up for a vacation "totally unaware" the meetings were taking place.

CALLING IT QUITS: Two-time Cy Young RHP Roy Halladay, 36, announced his retirement, citing his desire to avoid back surgery and to spend more time with his family. Halladay, who logged 203 wins, signed a one-day contract to retire with the Blue Jays. "It was a tremendous run," Halladay said, fighting back tears. "Something I'll never forget."

CATCHING ON: The Marlins officially introduced new C Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who left the Red Sox for a three-year, $21 million deal to play near his West Palm Beach hometown. "Crazy offseason," he said. "There were some nights where I wasn't happy. There were some nights where I was really happy. But it was an experience, a lot of fun. … And this was a perfect fit."

Comments
Presenting the 2017 Sports Turkey of the Year

Presenting the 2017 Sports Turkey of the Year

Happy Turkey Day!Today is a day of tradition.The Macy’s parade. Turkey and stuffing. The Lions and Cowboys.And our annual "Turkey of the Year.’’It’s a tradition started by my former colleague at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the brilliant columnist P...
Published: 11/22/17
Updated: 11/23/17
Rays INF Matt Duffy has to say big goodbye to 27-pound cat Skeeter

Rays INF Matt Duffy has to say big goodbye to 27-pound cat Skeeter

When the Rays acquired INF Matt Duffy from the Giants during the 2016 season, we also heard about the giant and somewhat famous cat he had, an up-to-27-pounder named Skeeter.Duffy announced over the weekend on Instagram that the family had to have Sk...
Published: 11/21/17
Rays agonize over which prospects to protect on 40-man roster

Rays agonize over which prospects to protect on 40-man roster

ST. PETERSBURG — That the Rays went right up to Monday’s 8 p.m. deadline in deciding to add seven players to the 40-man roster, and that a couple they left off seem to be potential Rule 5 draft losses, was apparently a good thing."There’s always some...
Published: 11/20/17
Updated: 11/21/17
UPDATE: RHP Brent Honeywell among 7 added to Rays 40-man roster

UPDATE: RHP Brent Honeywell among 7 added to Rays 40-man roster

UPDATE, 8:11: RHP Jose Mujica was an additional addition to the roster, beyond the six previously reported. Mujica, 21, was 14-8, 3.04 ERA in 27 starts between Class-A Charlotte and Double-A Montgomery.So among those left unprotected and potentially ...
Published: 11/20/17
Former Devil Ray Aubrey Huff among newcomers to Baseball Hall of Fame ballot

Former Devil Ray Aubrey Huff among newcomers to Baseball Hall of Fame ballot

Aubrey Huff isn't going to make the Baseball Hall of Fame.But at least the former Devil Rays standout has the satisfaction of making the cut to get onto the ballot, one of 19 first-timers up for election this year.Other newcomers with Rays ties are O...
Published: 11/20/17
Topkin: As Rays start dealing, how far will they go?

Topkin: As Rays start dealing, how far will they go?

After collecting intelligence at last week’s GM meetings, the Rays soon will launch their offseason mission of trading at least a couple of veterans to reduce payroll.The question is how far they will go — how many players they deal, and how big of n...
Published: 11/18/17
Rocco Baldelli’s promotion on Rays coaching staff now makes him major league field coordinator

Rocco Baldelli’s promotion on Rays coaching staff now makes him major league field coordinator

The Rays completed the reorganization of their coaching staff by giving Rocco Baldelli the title of major league field coordinator.In being promoted from first-base coach, Baldelli will implement ideas and information from the staff, while assisting ...
Published: 11/17/17
Rays hope to cash in on Alex Cobb leaving

Rays hope to cash in on Alex Cobb leaving

LAKE BUENA VISTA — The Rays were banking on pitcher Alex Cobb declining their one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer based on the lure of a longer-term and more lucrative deal elsewhere as a free agent.With that decision official Thursday, now the ...
Published: 11/16/17
Commissioner Rob Manfred likes Ybor City stadium site, but must see more support to keep baseball in Tampa Bay

Commissioner Rob Manfred likes Ybor City stadium site, but must see more support to keep baseball in Tampa Bay

LAKE BUENA VISTA — MLB commissioner Rob Manfred didn’t want to talk Thursday about what might happen if the current effort to build the Rays a new stadium at the Ybor City site falls through."I’m more focused on working with the community to figure o...
Published: 11/16/17
A message to Rays fans from Alex Cobb

A message to Rays fans from Alex Cobb

Here is a message from RHP Alex Cobb after he officially left the Rays Thursday in declining their one-year, $17.4-milllion qualifying offer to seek a bigger and longer pact elsewhere:"Getting to this point in my career is truly bittersweet."Twelve y...
Published: 11/16/17