Rays may be planning extension for Cobb

Published April 3, 2014

ST. PETERSBURG — After signing RHP Chris Archer to a new contract that could be worth $43.75 million over eight years, Rays executive vice president Andrew Friedman didn't rule out the possibility of getting more long-term deals done in the short term.

"We'll see," Friedman said.

RHP Alex Cobb would seem a prime candidate. He is 26, has emerged as one of the game's top young starters and will be arbitration eligible after this season.

Asked Wednesday if he had been approached by the Rays, Cobb said, "I plead the fifth."

About the benefits of Archer's deal, Cobb said, "I can't say how it would feel to be financially secure, but I'm sure it's a pretty good feeling. … I think everybody would like to feel that way. Maybe it's in the cards in the future."

Among leading position player possibilities, OF Wil Myers said he would be open to discussing a deal — "Anybody would love to talk extensions" — but there are no indications anything is in play. OF Desmond Jennings is unlikely to do so since he is represented by hard-line agent Scott Boras.

But a possibility could be SS Yunel Escobar, who is playing for a $5 million salary for the third straight year and has another $5 million option for 2015. Also, the Rays hold only one more option on 2B Ben Zobrist, who would make $7.5 million in 2015.

CITY SERVICE: His employers may be looking to relocate, but manager Joe Maddon was asked by new St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman to address a group of more than 1,000 city employees. "It was primarily almost like a team-building situation," Maddon said. "I thought it was pretty neat, and I was very impressed with his way.''

MEDICAL MATTERS: OF David DeJesus, who left Monday's game with a bruised right foot after being hit by a pitch, was feeling better and available to pinch-hit Wednesday, with hopes of returning to the lineup tonight. "I don't want to rush it, but it's not broken," he said. "I know the difference between pain and sore, it's still a little pain but more sore."

C Ryan Hanigan was ill and didn't start as planned Wednesday but did play in the ninth.

RHP Juan Carlos Oviedo, on the DL after reporting a month late to camp, threw well in a simulated game Tuesday and could start a minor-league rehab assignment as soon as Friday. Maddon said the goal is for Oviedo to be ready shortly after his April 14 eligible date.

ALL ABOUT YU: The Rays caught something of a bad break when the Rangers decided to have ace RHP Yu Darvish, who has been on the DL with a stiff neck, make his season debut Sunday at the Trop. Had they waited one more day, as they were considering, he would have pitched against the Red Sox in Boston.

MINOR MATTERS: The four full-season minor-league teams open play tonight, with RHP Nathan Karns starting for Triple-A Durham, RHP Victor Mateo for Double-A Montgomery, RHP Roberto Gomez for advanced Class A Charlotte, RHP Jacob Faria for Class A Bowling Green.

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MISCELLANY: INF/OF Sean Rodriguez could have a busy day; wife Giselle may have labor induced this morning to deliver their fourth child. … C Chris Gimenez, designated for assignment by Texas, finds out his waiver status this afternoon; if he clears there is mutual interest in a deal at Durham. … The Rays are homerless through three games for the first time. … A win today gives the Jays their first series win at the Trop since 2007. … Archer said he, like some other starters, is still building his working relationship with Hanigan. … A wall banner featuring the five postseason flags hanging over leftfield is Friday's first Tampa Bay Times Ticket Tandem item.

Times staff writer Joe Smith contributed to this report.