J Scott Butherus and Kris Dunn have all the latest on the Winter Meetings and what it means for the Rays. Stay here for updates throughout the week…
Slugger Giancarlo Stanton, who was traded to the Yankees on Monday, and Japanese phenom, Shohei Ohtani, who signed with the Angels on Friday, appear to be the snowball at the top of the mountain that is likely to create an avalanche of activity this week at the MLB Winter Meetings in Orlando. The Rays’ front office has said that they are open to anything but don’t expect them to unload any players unless they get a sufficient return. Rays GM Erik Neander has said he will let the market decide the course of the negotiations but it stands to reason that the market is going to be especially chaotic this winter.
Here are some of the more interesting rumors and developments that have come out of the early part of the meetings:
Rays lose Smith in Rule 5
Having been left off the 40-man roster in November, Burch Smith became fair game to any other team interested in selecting him during Thursday’s Rule 5 Draft. That’s exactly what the New York Mets did. With the sixth pick in the draft New York selected Smith – before trading him to Kansas City.
— Kris Dunn (@KRSDunn) December 14, 2017
St Louis deals an OF to Oakland
The Cardinals are the early favorite for the ‘Most Active Team at Winter Meetings’ title. Their most recent transaction was a player that had been rumored as a possible fit for Tampa Bay. Stephen Piscotty now heads to the west coast.
Sources: A’s are in agreement on a trade to acquire Stephen Piscotty. Two minors leaguers go to cards in deal.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 14, 2017
Twins offer for Odorizzi – Rays say no thanks
Mike Beradino of the Pioneer Press reported that the Twins and Rays were in preliminary talks regarding starter Jake Odorizzi but the package of prospects offered by Minnesota wasn’t enough to make Tampa Bay move forward.
I’m told #mntwins and #Rays have discussed a potential trade for RHP Jake Odorizzi (2 more arb years) but no traction yet. #mntwins offered a modest package of minor league prospects but #Rays didn’t bite.
— Mike Berardino (@MikeBerardino) December 13, 2017
Odorizzi is one of the Rays’ more valuable trade chips and should draw continued interest at the meetings. Don’t be surprised if the Rays are holding out for bigger package that could include infield prospect Nick Gordon.
Rebuild in Baltimore could impact Longoria
The Rays may not be the only American League East team contemplating trading off their star third baseman. Baltimore GM Dan Duquette noted that he is open to trading Manny Machado. That includes a possible deal with division rivals like the Yankees, according to Orioles beat writer Eddie Encina of the Baltimore.
“Well, I think you have to look at the entire market if you’re going to accurately assess the market, and the entire market would include teams in the American League East that we compete against,” Duquette told Encina.
If Machado is dealt this winter, it would open up the market for Rays third baseman Evan Longoria, who is frequently mentioned as a consolation prize for any team that misses out on Machado.
Cardinals land Ozuna from Marlins
— Craig Mish (@CraigMish) December 13, 2017
–UPDATE 12:43pm– The Cardinals are gaining ground on a deal to acquire Marlins outfielder Marcell Ozuna, per Ken Rosenthal. This would open the door for St. Louis to part ways with one of their current outfielders. Perhaps the most likely being Tommy Pham, Stephen Piscotty, or Randal Grichuk.
With the recent high-dollar signings of relief pitchers, any team inquiring about Alex Colome would have to provide a nice return.
McGee re-ups with Rocks
Lefty reliever Jake McGee has agreed to return to Colorado on a three-year deal, according to Jon Heyman.The 31-year-old had a 3.61 ERA last season while averaging just over a strike out per inning. The former Rays closer was speculated as a possible solution to the Rays’ bullpen needs, especially if Colome gets dealt.
Hit me on IG
Rays closer Alex Colome, one of the hottest trade topics at the meetings, either tipped his hand at his possible landing spot or pulled off an admirable troll job when he followed several Cardinals-related accounts on Instagram over the weekend.
— Drew Silva (@drewsilv) December 13, 2017
Colome has been linked heavily to the Cardinals but the Cubs and Rockies have also emerged as possible suitors.
Hunter heads to Phils
Releiver Tommy Hunter will make around $18 million over the next two years after the 31-year-old free agent signed with the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday. Hunter went 3-5 with a 2.61 ERA and 64 strikeouts in 58.2 innings last season.
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