LAS VEGAS — Rays officials headed home Thursday from a surprisingly busy winter meetings, having added starting RHP Charlie Morton and INF Yandy Diaz, and still working toward some other potential moves.
"Looking at history to expect to come out of the winter meetings with as many things either completed or possible as we have is not something I think you can expect,'' senior VP Chaim Bloom said. "There's been many years when we've come in here, we've had a lot of good conversations and we've come out of here with the exact same roster we can in here with. This hasn't been one of those years.''
Bloom said that wasn't by design or any self-imposed deadlines, just a product of discussions lining up better than in previous years, when they talked at the meetings but didn't make deals until getting home.
And they still could do that. The Rays reportedly remain in a six-team race for Marlins C J.T. Realmuto and are also looking elsewhere for a hitter, either to play first or DH. At some point, they are also likely to add a veteran closer.
Rule 5 report
The Rays lost only one player in the major-league phase of the Rule 5 draft, RHP Sam McWilliams taken with the No. 2 pick by the Royals.
McWilliams was a player to be named from Arizona in the Steven Souza Jr. trade and spent most of 2018 at Double-A Montgomery. The Royals paid $100,000 and either have to keep him in the majors or offer him back.
"You can only protect so many,'' farm director Mitch Lukevics said.
Former Florida Gators INF Richie Martin was the No. 1 pick by the Orioles from the A's.
The Rays were the most aggressive team in the minor-league phase, taking four right-handed pitchers: Ryan Thompson (Astros), a sidearmer recovering from Tommy John surgery; Ian Gardeck (Giants), who missed nearly three years with injuries; Cristofer Ogando (D'backs), who spent five years playing in amateur leagues; and Hector Figueroa (Indians). They lost two: INF Peter Maris (Giants) and C Alexander Alvarez (Brewers).
He said it
"He's a big dude, he can play some defense and he hits the crap out of the ball.'' — Jake Bauers on INF Yandy Diaz, whom he was traded for