Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays Tales: Trade talk and speculation about Las Vegas

• Trade talk is already starting in advance of this year's Aug. 1 deadline for nonwaiver deals, and expect RHP Jake Odorizzi and LHP Matt Moore to be popular subjects. Odorizzi, with three more seasons until free agency, was much discussed last winter, and the Marlins have reportedly already re-inquired. The Rays may rather deal Moore, who gets either a $2.5 million buyout or $7 million option after this season, with a $9 million option for 2018 and $10 million for 2019.

• An even more interesting question is how seriously they would discuss RHP Chris Archer if asked. Archer has a bright future and team-friendly deal that pays him $18.5 million total for 2017-20, followed by $9M and $11M options. But in his last 32 starts — essentially a full season — he is 7-18, 4.59.

• Until the Rays get a deal for a new stadium to stay in the Tampa Bay area, there will be speculation about them leaving. And you can bet that commissioner Rob Manfred's comments last week about Las Vegas being a "viable alternative" for a team will raise that chatter.

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