Why Tyler Glasnow really, really wants to stay with Rays

Tales | The pitcher is heading into the final year of his contract with a $25 million salary and says Tampa Bay is “my No, 1 place I want to be.”
Rays starter Tyler Glasnow is hoping the team will still have room for him on the roster going forward.
Rays starter Tyler Glasnow is hoping the team will still have room for him on the roster going forward. [ JEFFEREE WOO | Times ]
Published Oct. 22

The most likely scenario is for the Rays to trade Tyler Glasnow.

He is due to make a team-record $25 million next season, having signed an extension that delayed free agency a year. Injuries and inconsistency have been ongoing issues, with a Tommy John surgery on his chart. And he’s on the other side of 30, having yet to throw more than 120 innings in a big-league season.

Glasnow is well aware of the possibility, and that it could happen any time.

But in a candid interview with Foul Territory, Glasnow was asked about going into the final year of his contract with the Rays and made clear how much he relishes being with them, then raised the idea of finding a way to stick around.

“I love the Rays so much,” Glasnow told hosts Scott Braun, Erik Kratz and A.J. Pierzynski, raving about how the Rays do things with a “no fluff” approach in prioritizing winning, the quality of people on the team and staff (starting with baseball operations president Erik Neander and manager Kevin Cash), and the “best ever” culture and vibe in the clubhouse.

“So to get back to your original question after that rant, I’m very sad,” Glasnow said. “But I’m also excited, like I want to go out on a high note. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. I don’t know if I’m going to talk to them, try to stay longer. I don’t know if I’m going to get traded tomorrow.

“But I do know that I would like to stay there. That is like my No. 1 place I want to be because it’s like the most amazing atmosphere to play baseball.”

Rays pitcher Tyler Glasnow soaks in the moment as the Rays celebrate their playoff berth on Sept. 27 in Boston. The Rays clinched on Sept. 17.
Rays pitcher Tyler Glasnow soaks in the moment as the Rays celebrate their playoff berth on Sept. 27 in Boston. The Rays clinched on Sept. 17. [ WILL VRAGOVIC | Tampa Bay Rays ]

Neander did say at the postseason media session they had the flexibility to keep the team intact for 2024, even though it would push the payroll into an unprecedented (for them) range of $120 million.

And though Glasnow would bring back some (probably future) value in trade, the Rays — given the number of injured pitchers and inconsistent performances (Aaron Civale, 2-3, 5.56 after being acquired; Taj Bradley, 5-8, 5.59) — likely would have to go out and get another established starter to replace him in the rotation.

Plus, there are other ways to reduce payroll, such as trading from the veteran group of Manuel Margot ($10 million salary), Randy Arozarena ($9 million projected via arbitration), Brandon Lowe ($8.75 million), Civale (projected $4.6 million) or Harold Ramirez (projected $4.4 million). And moving on from some other arbitration eligibles in the $2 million to $3 million range.

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Glasnow admits he has been thinking and talking with his agent about the potential to stay with the Rays, noting the six-year, $150 million offer they made for Freddie Freeman in March 2022, and chatter about their previous interest in high-end starters such as Jacob de Grom and Max Scherzer as signs they could have the money to make a deal.

“I just think it has to make sense on whatever their data algorithm thing is,” he said. “They have a really good way of identifying talent, and generally when they sign dudes, they do well there. So it’s like whatever the system says my value is or however the front office or whoever — I don’t know how they do it — but I hope that I’m able to stay.”

Gold digging

Wander Franco was by several measures the American League’s top defensive shortstop until mid-August when he was prohibited from playing due to allegations of inappropriate relationships with minors. But turns out he had no chance to win the Gold Glove, as Rawlings officials decided to not include him on the ballot to avoid an awkward situation — the investigations by MLB and Dominican Republic authorities remain ongoing — if he had gotten the votes. … Jose Siri’s reaction, via Instagram, to not making the centerfield final three of ex-Ray Kevin Kiermaier, Luis Robert and Julio Rodriguez: “I just have to see this as a motivation for 2024,” with shrugging and OK emojis. … Unlike the standard position awards that are primarily determined by voting of managers and coaches, the new-in-2022 utility award that Taylor Walls is a finalist for is given based on a series of statistical formulas weighted by position, with Rawlings officials having the final say.

Non-playoff team upset with Rays, Marlins

Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner, left, and team president Randy Levine pose at the Sportico Invest in Sports Conference on Oct. 11 in New York.
Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner, left, and team president Randy Levine pose at the Sportico Invest in Sports Conference on Oct. 11 in New York. [ RONALD BLUM | AP ]

Yankees president Randy Levine recently criticized the “whining” Rays, and Marlins, for their reliance on revenue sharing.

“A lot more focus has to be on individual teams to do better and not just rely on revenue sharing,” Levine said Oct. 11 at the Invest in Sports conference, per the Associated Press. “You can’t have two Florida teams averaging 15,000 fans. You can’t have it. You don’t go into an NFL stadium or an NBA arena and see that.

“And I think that there’s been a dependency issue that’s got to get better. ... The commissioner has done an incredible job, but now it’s on individual teams. Instead of complaining and whining, ‘We need more money,’ you got to take some responsibility.”

Rays rumblings

Fox Sports did a touching update on the battle Wendy Lowe — mom of the Rays’ Josh and Rangers’ Nathaniel — is waging against glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer. In the midst of a six-week chemotherapy regimen, Wendy said: “I am humbled by how many people have reached out and continue to pray for us. … Thank you everyone, and Go Rangers.” … Expect the Rays’ first offseason moves to be clearing space on the 40-man roster to activate the seven players on the 60-day injured list by the fifth day after the World Series ends. With three free agents they aren’t going to re-sign pre-emptively — relievers Chris Devenski, Jake Diekman, Robert Stephenson — they will need four more spots. ... Being name dropped in the new Bad Bunny song Nadie Sabe thrilled Arozarena; maybe he could be on stage to hear it live. The popular rapper just announced a May 21 concert in Tampa, and the Rays are home that day. ... Whoever gets hired as the new first base coach presumably will be tasked with getting the players to focus more on improved baserunning. ... Lou Piniella’s toughest competition on the new Hall of Fame committee ballot looks to be Jim Leyland, though both could make it. ... Arozarena’s jersey was the biggest seller this season, per the team.. ... Having been rebuffed by former Rays players turned GMs Sam Fuld (Phillies) and Brandon Gomes (Dodgers), the Red Sox reportedly interviewed another ex-Ray, Gabe Kapler, for their top baseball ops job. … Tyler Kepner, writing in The Athletic, compared Arizona pulling starter Brandon Pfaadt in the sixth inning of NLCS Game 3 Thursday to Kevin Cash taking out Blake Snell in Game 6 of the 2020 World Series. Former Rays/current Diamondbacks reliever Ryan Thompson said: “I’m still scarred by that. You can’t help but think about it,” but noted he knew the reasoning.

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