Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Trade rumors swirl around Rays pitchers

OAKLAND, Calif. — Matt Moore took the mound Thursday night hoping it wouldn't be his last start in a Rays uniform, and Jake Odorizzi will do the same tonight.

As the two Rays starters who have generated the most interest from other teams, both Moore and Odorizzi have heard and read their names connected to multiple teams in myriad trade rumors.

And that is only going to increase as the Aug. 1 deadline for nonwaiver deals approaches and contenders shift in the next few days from considering their options to actually making deals.

"I haven't been around all that long, but every time something like this does happen and there is this deadline, or we may need something, it does kind of shake you up a little bit and make you appreciate your teammates and where you're at even more," Moore said.

Moore and Odorizzi have been the ''most popular" topics among teams calling the Rays, though there is discussion on all their starters, including Chris Archer, who seems unlikely to be moved barring a massive return. There also has been interest in Erasmo Ramirez, who can relieve or start, and might be in lefty Xavier Cedeno. Infielder Steve Pearce is expected to be another sought-after player.

Because so many teams need pitching, the Rays would seem to be in somewhat of a position of power in that they provide multiple options. Among the half-dozen or so teams that have been scouting them heavily, the Rangers and Dodgers (scrambling with Clayton Kershaw hurt) would appear to be the best matches, as they have farm systems stocked with position players, which the Rays could use. The Pirates are another. Others seriously interested include the Astros, Marlins, Nationals and Red Sox.

As a result, Rays players are also hot topics in the rumor mill. Just Thursday, for example, there was one national report that Archer was likely headed — with a 70 percent chance — to the Dodgers and another report that he was unlikely to be traded anywhere.

Archer said he hadn't heard anything about any deal and, like his mates, "definitely would like to stay.'' But he also said he is not surprised to be rumored to be going elsewhere.

"It's just the nature of the business," he said. "I've been traded twice. At the end of the day, each organization is trying to do what's best for them. And if the Rays think that's what's best for them, then that's what they think."

Plus, he pointed out, at the end of this season he will be halfway through the six guaranteed years of his long-term deal, playing three years for $4.25 million and due $18 million for the next three, with $9 million and $11 million options after that.

"With signing my deal, I knew that this was a possibility, and I knew eventually it would it happen,'' he said. "So it's not really that surprising, to be honest, looking at where we're at and how the Rays typically do things.''

Contract status is always a factor. Moore has a $7 million option for 2017, and two others for $19 million total; Odorizzi will be eligible for arbitration for the first of three times.

Odorizzi said there isn't much they can do but wait, wonder — and sometimes laugh.

"If we didn't, we'd go crazy by now because this has been ongoing for however many weeks, and we still have 10 days to go,'' he said. "We'll pull our hair out. We might run out of jokes before the actual D day gets here. It's almost entertaining to the point of who's going to be the next person to be 'out the door' already. But so far we are all still here and hanging out.''

Manager Kevin Cash said he knows there is going to be a lot of chatter.

"I think we're going to have 10 days of dealing with this as a club, inside our clubhouse," he said. "These guys, a lot of them, have been a part of it before being here. We cannot let it become a distraction."

Marc Topkin can be reached at

Trade rumors swirl around Rays pitchers 07/21/16 [Last modified: Thursday, July 21, 2016 11:41pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. NFL rewards Tampa Bay's track record, preparation with another Super Bowl


    Tampa Bay got lucky on Tuesday.

    We are getting a Super Bowl. We are getting a Super Bowl that we weren't supposed to get. We're getting a Super Bowl that we once were told we wouldn't get.

    Then came good luck.

    Mike Tomlin celebrates with LaMarr Woodley and Troy Polamalu after the Steelers beat the Cardinals in 

Super Bowl XLIII  on February 1, 2009 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. [Times files (2009)
  2. Rays vs. Angels, 7:10 p.m. Wednesday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Angels

    7:10, Tropicana Field

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

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Erasmo Ramirez #30 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  3. Wilson Ramos feeling good and confident, eyeing late June return to Rays


    Sitting on the bench in the Rays dugout in his full catcher's gear, Wilson Ramos talked excitedly Tuesday about the progress in his recovery from right knee surgery and the potential to be back in the major leagues by this time next month.

    "I feel like a player right now,'' Ramos said.

    Wilson Ramos is aiming to be back with the Rays by this time next month.
  4. Tampa lands Super Bowl in 2021


    TAMPA — Record rainfall in Los Angeles ultimately may end Tampa Bay's drought of hosting the Super Bowl.

    Mike Tomlin celebrates with LaMarr Woodley and Troy Polamalu after the Steelers beat the Cardinals in 

Super Bowl XLIII  on February 1, 2009 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. [Times files (2009)
  5. Why Ryan Fitzpatrick may solve the puzzle for Bucs at backup quarterback


    Ryan Fitzpatrick will have to leave One Buc Place following Thursday’s off-season workout and fly home to New Jersey in time to teach a class of 10 second and third grade students how to solve the Rubiks Cube.

    The Bucs are hoping Ryan Fitzpatrick can provide the solution to their puzzle at backup quarterback behind starter Jameis Winston.