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Marc Topkin - Rays Reporter

Rays Reporter

If there's something in Tampa Bay Rays history you're interested in, there's a good chance I was there for it. First pitch, Wade Boggs' 3,000th hit, the 2008 ALCS clincher and World Series experience, Evan Longoria's Game 162 walkoff, the 2018 advent of the opener, and plenty more. That's the benefit of having covered the franchise from day one (actually even before) and for all 21 seasons, as well as other baseball matters locally and nationally since joining the Times in 1983 from Drake University. Obviously, I've enjoyed the ride and am happy to share the details with you on all platforms. I’ve also had the privilege of covering Super Bowls, Olympics and college bowl games, but, pssst, baseball has always been my first love.

  1. The Rays work out a new deal with infielder Yandy Diaz, avoiding an arbitration hearing.
  2. In a statement, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred thanked St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch "for reaffirming St. Petersburg’s commitment" to baseball and the Rays. "We look forward to working with the Mayor to secure the Rays’ long-term future in Tampa Bay," he said.
  3. Rays president Brian Auld answers questions while talking with reporters during a news conference at Tropicana Field on Monday.
  4. Jeffrey Springs got a new deal this week, with incentives and award bonuses that could potentially boost his pay.
  5. On Friday, the Rays signed relief pitcher Pete Fairbanks to a new multi-year deal.
  6. The Rays are trying to avoid an arbitration hearing with Yandy Diaz, with a new deal possibly finalized by Tuesday.
  7. Pete Fairbanks is the second Rays pitcher to sign a long-term deal this week, joining Jeffrey Springs.
  8. Jeffrey Springs moved into the Rays rotation in early May and adapted quickly to the starting role.
  9. Then-Cincinnati Reds third baseman Scott Rolen fields a ball hit by the Arizona Diamondbacks during a 2010 game in Cincinnati. Rolen was elected to baseball's Hall of Fame in voting announced Tuesday.
  10. Then-Triple-A Durham manager Jared Sandberg, right, shown with former Rays prospect Brent Honeywell at the 2017 All-Star Futures Game in Miami.
  11. Hall of Fame candidate Scott Rolen had a .281 career batting average with 316 home runs and 1,287 RBIs for Philadelphia (1996-2002), St. Louis (2002-07), Toronto (2008-09) and Cincinnati (2009-12). The seven-time All-Star was a unanimous pick as the 1997 NL Rookie of the Year, hit .421 as the Cardinals won the 2006 World Series and won eight Gold Gloves.
  12. Is this the year Josh Lowe finally gets things clicking in the majors?
  13. Jeffrey Springs went from reliever to starter for the first time in the majors, and now he wants to be compensated accordingly.
  14. Leon Jackson, the last surviving member of the Courageous 12, the first Black officers on the St. Petersburg Police force, receives a personalized jersey from Stephen Thomas, the Rays' vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion, on Jackie Robinson Day last season.
  15. Kyle Manzardo, a second-round pick from Washington State, was ranked the game’s No. 60 prospect by Baseball America.
  16. Trevor Kelley, who throws from a low, sidearm-style arm slot, had a 6.08 ERA over 23-2/3 innings in 18 games during five stints with Milwaukee in 2022.
  17. New Rays outfield signee Brailer Guerrero poses with Dominican Republic scouting supervisor Danny Santana.
  18. Rays baseball operations president Erik Neander talks about the decision to sign right-handed pitcher Zach Eflin during a news conference at Tropicana Field on Tuesday.
  19. Brendan McKay has not pitched in the majors since 2019, when he made his debut as a heralded prospect.
  20. Former Rays centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier discusses his decision to sign with the Blue Jays on a media Zoom call Thursday.
  21. Pitcher Jeff Belge, acquired from the Dodgers Wednesday for reliever J.P. Feyereisen, pitched collegiately at St. John's University.
  22. With J.P. Feyereisen out until at least late August after undergoing shoulder surgery, the Rays designated him for assignment Tuesday with plans to trade him in the next few days.
  23. Rays general manager Peter Bendix, left, shakes hands with right-handed pitcher Zach Eflin during an introductory news conference Tuesday at Tropicana Field. The team signed Eflin to a 3-year, $40 million deal, the most they have ever given to a free agent.