Monday, December 18, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Rays: Joe Maddon defends Evan Longoria's trip to ESPYs; Rays sign nearly every draft pick

Rays vs. Red Sox

When/where: 7:10 tonight; Tropicana Field

TV/radio: Sun Sports; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

Tickets: $19-$300, available at Tropicana Field box office, Ticketmaster, raysbaseball.com, team Tampa store; $3 surcharge within five hours of game time

Probable pitchers

Rays LH David Price (11-4, 2.82)

REd Sox RH Clay Buchholz (8-2, 5.53)

On Price: After his scoreless inning at Tuesday's All-Star Game, Price faces a foe against whom he has been solid. Current Sox players have no homers in 89 combined at-bats against Price, who is 6-4 with a 3.22 ERA all time against Boston. In his last outing, July 4 against the Yankees, Price allowed one run on four hits in seven innings before the bullpen floundered in a 4-3 defeat.

On Buchholz: Solid at the Trop (3-2, 2.41 ERA) for his career, Buchholz is making his first big-league start in nearly a month. A stomach illness put him on the 15-day DL in late June, followed by a 2⅓-inning scoreless rehab start for Triple-A Pawtucket on Sunday.

Rays vs. Buchholz

Carlos Peña 5-for-25, HR

Luke Scott 6-for-26, 2 HR

Ben Zobrist 3-for-23

Red Sox vs. Price

David Ortiz 4-for-22

Adrian Gonzalez 3-for-18

Will Middlebrooks 2-for-3

On deck

Sunday: vs. Red Sox, 1:40 p.m., Sun Sports. Rays — James Shields (8-5, 4.17); Red Sox — Josh Beckett (4-7, 4.43)

Quote of the day

"It's so easy for people to bark when they have no idea exactly what's going on. Listen, when you pull a hamstring, that hurts a lot, not just a little bit. And it should not preclude him from getting on an airplane and flying to an awards ceremony."

Joe Maddon, Rays manager, right, responding to criticism of injured 3B Evan Longoria's decision to attend the ESPYs in Los Angeles

Number of the day

92.5

Percent of draft picks (37 of 40) signed by the Rays, who signed each of their top 28 selections.

Comments
Rays’ trade silence likely a short-lived phenomenon

Rays’ trade silence likely a short-lived phenomenon

LAKE BUENA VISTA — There were a lot of reasons the Rays didn’t start the process of trading some of their bigger-name, higher-paid players at last week’s winter meetings.Most obvious was them not finding the just-right deal to move closer Alex Colome...
Published: 12/16/17
No big deal for Rays at winter meetings, but it’s still coming

No big deal for Rays at winter meetings, but it’s still coming

LAKE BUENA VISTA — Here’s the one thing we definitely know:Rays officials headed home from the winter meetings and back across I-4 Thursday without making deals to trade any of their bigger-name, higher-paid players. Not closer Alex Colome, not third...
Published: 12/14/17
Are Tampa Bay Rays going to make a major deal involving Alex Colome, others? Well …

Are Tampa Bay Rays going to make a major deal involving Alex Colome, others? Well …

UPDATE, 4:02: It doesn't sound like the Rays and Cardinals will be making a deal today, Derrick Goold writing for the St. Louis Post Dispatch that Cardinals execs "leave the Walt Disney Dolphin resort with good feel for what Tampa Bay would be willin...
Published: 12/14/17
Rays re-sign pitcher Jonny Venters, among 13 invited to spring training

Rays re-sign pitcher Jonny Venters, among 13 invited to spring training

LAKE BUENA VISTA — LHP Jonny Venters got as far as Triple A in September. Now the former All-Star is positioned to make it all the way back to the majors for the first time since 2012, re-signing with the Rays and headlining Thursday’s announcement o...
Published: 12/14/17
Veteran Jonny Venters, prospect Joe McCarthy among 13 Tampa Bay Rays spring invitees

Veteran Jonny Venters, prospect Joe McCarthy among 13 Tampa Bay Rays spring invitees

Inspiring veteran LHP Jonny Venters and intriguing prospect 1B/OF Joe McCarthy are among 13 players invited to major-league spring training camp with the Rays.Others coming as a result of signing minor-league contracts with invites are: RHP R.J. Alan...
Published: 12/14/17
Tampa Bay Rays lose RHP Burch Smith in Rule 5 draft, keep Nick Ciuffo

Tampa Bay Rays lose RHP Burch Smith in Rule 5 draft, keep Nick Ciuffo

The Rays lost RHP Burch Smith in Thursday's Rule 5 draft but were happy to see him get an opportunity in Kansas City.They also were pleased to hang on to C Nick Ciuffo, who was left exposed but not selected.Smith, 27, was acquired from the Padres as ...
Published: 12/14/17
Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 4

Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 4

UPDATE, 11:09: RHP Steve Cishek, who was a very effective addition to the Rays pen last season, has reunited with pitching coach Jim Hickey, agreeing to a deal with the Cubs.UPDATE, 10:40: Like most teams, Rays officials are heading out of the meetin...
Published: 12/14/17
Disney-Fox deal gives ESPN control of local cable rights to Rays, Lightning games

Disney-Fox deal gives ESPN control of local cable rights to Rays, Lightning games

As part of its deal to buy a massive package of 21st Century Fox assets, Disney will acquire Fox Sports Regional Networks, which control the local cable rights to a slew of professional teams, including the Tampa Bay Rays and Tampa Bay Lightning.Assu...
Published: 12/14/17
Tampa Bay Rays making progress in trade talks

Tampa Bay Rays making progress in trade talks

Without getting into specifics – especially the who and the where – Rays officials are for the first time talking optimistically about making a trade before the winter meetings end Thursday.Speaking at around 5:15, senior VP Chaim Bloom s...
Published: 12/13/17

Winter meetings journal: Rays trade for money to sign top international free agent

LAKE BUENA VISTA — While most of the business conducted at the meetings impacts the big-league team one way or another, the Rays are working to finalize a move they hope pays off big sometime in the 2020s.In trading Wednesday to acquire $1 million in...
Published: 12/13/17