Sunday, February 18, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Rays close to signing pitcher Roberto Hernandez

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays are working to complete a deal to sign right-hander Roberto Hernandez (not that one), a move that would add depth to their rotation and/or bullpen and another player with an interesting past to their clubhouse.

Hernandez, 32, previously pitched for the Indians and formerly was known as Fausto Carmona before being caught in January in his native Dominican Republic falsifying his identity .

He is looking to re-establish his career after missing most of last season with visa issues after the scandal. He didn't make his debut for the Indians until Aug. 12, going 0-3 with a 7.53 ERA, then was shut down with an ankle injury. The Indians declined a $6 million option.

Hernandez — who was 19-8 with a 3.06 ERA in 2007 (and fourth in the Cy Young voting), and an All-Star in 2010 (13-14, 3.77) — could emerge as a back-of-the-rotation option for the Rays in the absence of traded James Shields and Wade Davis. Or he could end up in the bullpen, where his ability to get ground balls could make him an effective weapon.

The deal may not be completed and announced for several days.

NOTE: Manager Joe Maddon completed three days of serving meals at Salvation Army shelters Wednesday and headed to Pennsylvania for a weekend of fundraising events for his Hazleton Integration Project.

Shields introduced

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Manager Ned Yost and the Royals hope their recent acquisitions from the Rays can bring a winning franchise to a city in dire need of one.

Former All-Star James Shields and fellow right-hander Wade Davis arrived in Kansas City for physicals after a trade that sent the Royals' top prospect, Wil Myers, and three other minor-leaguers to Tampa Bay. They're ready to join a new-look rotation the club believes can revive a franchise that hasn't had a winning season since 2003 and hasn't made the postseason since 1985.

"I'm up for any challenge, there's no doubt," Shields said. "But my goal here, as well as Wade's, is we're going to try to feed off each other."

Shields, 30, is expected to be the Royals' opening day starter after seven years as a stalwart in the Rays rotation. He has topped 200 innings each of the past six seasons.

"These two guys have winning flowing in their veins," Yost said. "They're going to be a huge addition not only to our pitching staff but our whole team."

Davis, who started 64 games for Tampa Bay from 2009-11, was sent to the bullpen last season and flourished. He is slated to return to the rotation next season.

"It's awesome to get the opportunity. Last year was a good learning experience for me," Davis said. "It's just a little overwhelming the past couple days, but sitting back and thinking about it, it's a really exciting thing for me to be part of."

METS: Third baseman David Wright will have to wait until 2025 to receive all the money from his $138 million, eight-year contract with the Mets. The deal includes $15.5 million in salary that is being deferred without interest.

YANKEES: Closer Mariano Rivera, coming back from right knee surgery, expects to be ready by opening day. "I don't see why not," said Rivera, 43. "We have at least three months, four months to that point. I'll be ready."

Information from Times wires was used in this report. Marc Topkin can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
Rays Journal: Early off-days lead to four-man rotation, Andriese in bullpen

Rays Journal: Early off-days lead to four-man rotation, Andriese in bullpen

PORT CHARLOTTE – Among many reasons the Rays decided to trade RHP Jake Odorizzi was that they didn't really need him. Or at least didn't need five experienced starters.Manager Kevin Cash confirmed Sunday a plan to use only a four-man rotation f...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Ellsbury ready to play, but where?

Ellsbury ready to play, but where?

By ROGER MOONEYTimes Staff WriterTAMPA – Jacoby Ellsbury reported Sunday and said all the right things when he faced the Yankees media for the first time this spring.He is excited to begin spring training. He worked hard this offseason. He is e...
Updated: 2 hours ago
What were Rays thinking in ditching Odorizzi, Dickerson, adding Cron?

What were Rays thinking in ditching Odorizzi, Dickerson, adding Cron?

PORT CHARLOTTE – Rays officials insisted Sunday they made the best deals they could in a bad market, trading No. 2 starter Jake Odorizzi for an unheralded Class A shortstop prospect and DFA-ing 2017 All-Star Corey Dickerson in essentially a swa...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Morning after comments on Rays’ busy Saturday, dealing Odorizzi, Dickerson; adding Cron

Morning after comments on Rays’ busy Saturday, dealing Odorizzi, Dickerson; adding Cron

Here are some of the comments from Rays camp this morning after the Rays' busy Saturday night in which they traded RHP Jake Odorizzi to the Twins for Class A SS prospect Jermaine Palacios, designated for assignment 2017 All-Star DH/OF Corey Dickerson...
Updated: 8 hours ago
‘Babe Ruth of Japan’ already talks the talk of an MLB pitcher

‘Babe Ruth of Japan’ already talks the talk of an MLB pitcher

TEMPE, Ariz. – Major league pitchers nowadays emerge from the womb, or at the very least arrive at the end of their minor-league apprenticeships, already knowing that the only proper answer to any question pertaining to your first stint on a mo...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Rays trade Odorizzi to Twins, acquire Cron from Angels, DFA All-Star Dickerson

Rays trade Odorizzi to Twins, acquire Cron from Angels, DFA All-Star Dickerson

The order from ownership to cut payroll stymied by the same market freeze that has stalled transactions throughout the game, the Rays on Saturday night burst into action with a series of somewhat confusing moves that saved them around $10 million.The...
Published: 02/17/18
Updated: 02/18/18
Who was right in Archer-Honeywell exchange? How about both?

Who was right in Archer-Honeywell exchange? How about both?

ROSTER REPORTFirst of our weekly semi-educated guesses at the makeup of the 25-man opening day roster, projecting that Jake Odorizzi and Denard Span will be traded:PITCHERS (12): Jose Alvarado, Matt Andriese, Chris Archer, Alex Colome, Nathan Eovaldi...
Published: 02/17/18
For Rays Wilson Ramos, horrors of 2011 kidnapping remain

For Rays Wilson Ramos, horrors of 2011 kidnapping remain

PORT CHARLOTTE – Lying on the floor of a Venezuelan mountain hideout as his kidnappers and would-be rescuers exchanged gunfire for more than five minutes, Wilson Ramos, understandably, feared the worst."Everything I was thinking in that moment ...
Published: 02/17/18
Denard Span happy to be with Rays now, would be happier March 29

Denard Span happy to be with Rays now, would be happier March 29

PORT CHARLOTTE – OF Denard Span was truly happy to be here in Rays camp on Saturday.But the Tampa product said he'll be much happier – and more relaxed – if he actually makes it to the regular season with his hometown team.The Rays ...
Published: 02/17/18
Live from Port Charlotte: Rays to continue parade of arms

Live from Port Charlotte: Rays to continue parade of arms

UPDATE, 9:59: Span, Williams and Velazquez have all reported to camp, leaving the Rays just Hechavarria shy of  a full house.Velazquez, who played last season at Double-A Montgomery, said he was pleasantly surprised to get a call on Tuesday, whi...
Published: 02/17/18