Tuesday, August 21, 2018
Sports

Rays say they've been active at winter meetings

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — With their search for a catcher seemingly filled by Wilson Ramos, the Rays continued talks Tuesday on trades and signings to add an outfielder/DH and relievers.

"It's been active," Rays GM Erik Neander said before news of the Ramos signing broke. "A lot of different scenarios to think through and to consider, and you get to choose one path in terms of which way you go. … It's still pretty wide open in terms of which way it could go. … Do feel like we at least have a chance to improve some of those areas."

How else remains to be seen. While talking extensively about potential trades of their starters, they have also looked at the free agent market, though may be better served by waiting out the initial signings, given the glut of available hitters.

There was some movement in that area based on assorted reports, with Edwin Encarnacion talking with the Indians, Mark Trumbo with the Indians and Mariners and Jose Bautista with the Indians and his former Blue Jays club.

The Rays did have small moves:

• Radio broadcaster Andy Freed agreed to a three-year deal to stay behind the mic through 2019. Partner Dave Wills is signed through 2017.

Steve Henderson was hired to fill the open minor-league hitting coordinator position. Henderson, 64, was the Rays' major-league hitting coach in 1998 and in 2006-09 and had most recently been with the Phillies.

• All seven of the Rays minor-league managers are expected to return.

Also, former Rays hitting coach Derek Shelton is set to join the Blue Jays big-league staff as quality assurance coach, helping out with hitting, advance scouting and other duties.

RED LETTER DAY: In addition to adding five-time All-Star LHP Chris Sale to their already strong rotation for a package led by top overall prospect Yoan Moncada, the Red Sox addressed two other holes, signing 1B Mitch Moreland to a one-year, $5.5 million deal and acquiring reliever Tyler Thornburg from Milwaukee, which ended talks to re-sign Koji Uehara. "Boston's like the Golden State Warriors now," Yankees GM Brian Cashman said.

AROUND THE LOBBY: Royals closer and former Rays RHP Wade Davis was reported to likely be on the move, potentially to the Cubs for OF Jorge Soler. … Longtime writer Claire Smith became the first woman to win the BBWAA Spink Award and will be honored at the July 30 Hall of Fame induction.

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