Winter meetings update: Rays ready to see if talk turns into action

Countless hours of preliminary discussions can come to a head this week in Las Vegas. Or not.
Marlins C J.T. Realmuto is one of the top available hitters. [Times files]
Marlins C J.T. Realmuto is one of the top available hitters. [Times files]
Published Dec. 10, 2018|Updated Dec. 10, 2018

Rays officials arrived in Las Vegas Sunday ready to see if all the talks, expressions of interest and initial inquires into free agent signings and trades leads to any action this week.

Though the Rays have done some deals during the annual baseball-wide get-together, they tend to do most of the their heavy lifting in later December and January.

Among players they have been connected to and remain interested in to some degree — and pending the acquisition cost, of course — are Marlins C J.T. Realmuto; Indians DH Edwin Encarnacion, INF Yandy Diaz and several starters; Cardinals 1B/OF Jose Martinez, Mariners 1B/DH Carlos Santana, Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard. Also free agent DH Nelson Cruz and starters Charlie Morton and Lance Lynn.

"It's a time to look at a wide array of possibilities,'' senior VP Chaim Bloom said.

Having a stockpile of young major-leaguers and prospects, which are the top commodity to many teams, allows the Rays to stay in the conversation with many teams over trades.