Team Related News

According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, the Braves are "no longer in play" for free agent slugger Jose Bautista.

Marly Rivera of named the Braves among several teams who have talked to Jose Bautista about a one-year deal, but it doesn't appear that discussions have been recent. The best-case scenario would have been a part-timer or bench role, so he's better off talking to an American League team. The Rays have been mentioned most prominently, but it's unclear whether they still have interest.
Mar 26 - 11:36 AM

Marly Rivera of reports that Jose Bautista is in talks with "several teams" on a one-year deal, including the Braves and Rays.

The Rays have been mentioned previously and make for a better fit with the ability to slide him into the DH spot. Bautista, 37, batted just .203/.308/.366 with 23 homers over 157 games last season. The market wasn't kind to veteran players this offseason -- especially ones who are liability defensively -- but Bautista said earlier this month that he isn't considering retirement.
Mar 26 - 8:59 AM

Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times says free agent slugger Jose Bautista is "keenly interested" in playing for the Rays.

Bautista is a longtime Tampa resident and is one of many still looking for a job a few days into spring training. Given his .203/.308/.366 batting line last season, the 37-year-old should also be in the price range for the cost-cutting Rays. It will be interesting to see if the two sides are a match.
Feb 24 - 11:25 PM's Jesse Sanchez reports that the Rays have agreed to a one-year contract with free agent outfielder Carlos Gomez.

The one-year deal -- which is pending a physical -- will come with a $4 million guarantee, per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Gomez struggled to attract significant interest on the open market this winter despite posting an .802 OPS with 17 home runs and 13 stolen bases in 105 games last season with the Rangers. He battled hamstring, shoulder, and ankle ailments throughout the year, but with better health this could be a nice bounceback situation for both Gomez and the rebuilding Rays. The 32-year-old will play a corner outfield spot, with defensive maestro Kevin Kiermaier sticking in center field.
Feb 21 - 1:33 PM

Robert Murray of FanRag Sports reports that the Rays are in the process of acquiring Yankees second base prospect Nick Solak.

The return is unknown, but Solak is a fairly well-regarded prospect, so this could be part of something big. The 23-year-old hit .297/.384/.452 with 12 homers and 14 stolen bases in 130 games last season between High-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton. He was a second-round pick in 2016 out of the University of Louisville.
Feb 20 - 6:27 PM

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Rays have "checked in" on the market for Eduardo Nunez.

The cost-conscious Rays are hoping that Nunez's asking price will drop closer to their comfort zone, but with the Yankees and Red Sox also in pursuit that may be unlikely. Nunez was also said to be drawing free agent interest from the Mets before they signed Todd Frazier earlier this week to a two-year, $17 million deal. Nunez, 30, batted .313/.341/.460 with 12 home runs and 24 stolen bases in 114 games last year between San Francisco and Boston while appearing defensively at shortstop, third base, second base, and both corner outfield spots. He'd be a nice late-offseason addition for a range of clubs.
Feb 7 - 12:12 AM

Mets selected RHP Burch Smith from the Rays with the sixth pick in the Rule 5 draft and traded him to the Royals.

If you'd forgotten about ol' Burch, well, that's understandable. The right-hander made seven starts and three relief appearances for the Padres in 2013 and then made a total of two appearances (both in the minors) the next three seasons because of arm woes that eventually led to Tommy John surgery. Back last year, he started 11 games and had a 2.43 ERA in 37 innings in high-A and a 1.65 ERA in 16 1/3 innings in Triple-A. He's more likely to contibute as a reliever in the majors, but the Royals should have openings in both the rotation and the pen.
Thu, Dec 14, 2017 09:55:00 AM

According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Cardinals "keep pushing for" Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson.

Rosenthal adds, however, that the Blue Jays "remain disinclined to move Donaldson" because they want to compete in 2018. The asking price is high and there is no indication that a deal is close. St. Louis has its toe in the water on a bunch of different potential upgrades and it sounds like there might be a better match with the Rays. Evan Longoria, Alex Colome, and Chris Archer are the names the Cardinals have discussed with Tampa Bay.
Thu, Dec 14, 2017 09:30:00 AM

Jesse Sanchez of reports that the Rays have signed Dominican shortstop Jelfry Marte.

Marte previously signed with the Twins for $3 million, but the deal was voided due to a vision issue. Sanchez notes that the Rays only have $440,000 to spend during the current international signing period, so it's possible they are in the process of acquiring additional funds. LaVelle E. Neal III hears that Marte signed for around $800,000. The 16-year-old Marte is a switch-hitter who is well-regarded for his speed and defense.
Tue, Dec 12, 2017 03:03:00 PM

Jerry Crasnick of reports that the Giants, Royals, Athletics, Rays, and Blue Jays are among the teams believed to be keeping an eye on free agent outfielder Carlos Gonzalez.

There hasn't been much chatter about Gonzalez, but teams could look at him as a reasonable buy-low possibility. The thought is that he'll sign a short-term deal in hopes of reestablishing his value. The 32-year-old batted just .262/.339/.423 with 14 homers over 534 plate appearances in 2017.
Tue, Dec 12, 2017 01:22:00 PM

According to Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Twins have talked to the Pirates about acquiring Gerrit Cole.

Berardino adds that the pitching-hungry Twins have also been in touch with the Rays about right-hander Jake Odorizzi, and they're known to have interest in a number of starters on the free agent market. Cole finished the 2017 season with a disappointing 4.26 ERA in 203 innings, but the 27-year-old registered a 3.23 ERA in 579 1/3 innings between 2013-2016 and he is under club control through 2019. Pittsburgh would probably want multiple prospects in return.
Tue, Nov 21, 2017 09:11:00 PM

Tampa Bay Times writer Marc Topkin expects "mutual interest" between the Rays and free agent Mike Napoli.

The Rays are a wild card this offseason, with the possibility to move any and every player on their roster for the right price. Napoli could interest the club as a veteran leader on a team that could soon be devoid of veteran leadership, Topkin asserts, and would also fit on the field and in the lineup with first baseman Logan Morrison now departed as a free agent. It's unclear what the 36-year-old Napoli's market may look like after he hit 29 homers but batted .193/.285/.428 overall this past season with the Rangers.
Sat, Nov 18, 2017 11:06:00 PM

Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports that the Rays have expressed interest in free agent Jose Bautista.

This comes on the heels of a report that Bautista is willing to play any position next season, from the corner infield spots to the corner outfield spots to designated hitter. That suits the Rays, who like to move guys around and take advantage of platoon splits. Bautista batted just .203/.308/.366 over 686 plate appearances this past season for the Blue Jays, but he still managed 23 home runs and 65 RBI. He should come pretty cheap, which also suits the Rays.
Wed, Nov 15, 2017 02:43:00 PM

ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reports that the Twins "have fielded a lot of calls" on Brandon Kintzler.

Kintzler is a fit for just about every contending team as a bullpen rental. The 32-year-old impending free agent has registered a 2.78 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in 45 1/3 innings this season while racking up 28 saves. There's known to be serious interest from the Diamondbacks, Nationals, Rockies, and Rays.
Mon, Jul 31, 2017 12:05:00 PM's Mark Feinsand reports that the Rays are "very close" to acquiring Steve Cishek from the Mariners in exchange for Erasmo Ramirez.

ESPN's Jerry Crasnick says the Mariners are including cash in the deal to balance the salaries out. Cishek got a late start to the season following offseason hip surgery, but he's pitched well since returning with a 3.15 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 15/7 K/BB ratio over 20 innings. He'll slide into a right-handed setup role and is an impending free agent. Ramirez, of course, came up with the Mariners and offers them versatility with an ability to start or relieve. He holds a 4.80 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 55/16 K/BB ratio over 69 1/3 frames this season and is under team control through 2019.
Fri, Jul 28, 2017 11:10:00 AM

Rays acquired 1B Lucas Duda from the Mets in exchange for RHP Drew Smith.

The Yankees were also in on Duda, which likely added to the Rays' sense of urgency. There was no money in the deal as the Rays have agreed to pay the remainder of Duda's $7.25 million salary. It's a good match on paper as the Mets were looking to break up their infield logjam while the Rays needed a left-handed bat to replace Colby Rasmus. The power-hitting 31-year-old should immediately slide in as the Rays' everyday DH. The Rays also acquired reliever Dan Jennings on Thursday, a rare sight for a team that is usually a seller at the deadline. Back in New York, it shouldn't be long until the Mets promote top first base prospect Dominic Smith, who has impressed by hitting .337 with 15 HR and 68 RBI in 102 games for Triple-A Las Vegas this year.
Thu, Jul 27, 2017 05:33:00 PM

According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, the Rays have been "looking at" A.J. Ramos.

Per Heyman, the Rays are also in the running for Tigers closer Justin Wilson, though he's being pursued by a number of other teams and probably a long shot to end up in Tampa Bay. The Marlins just traded setup man David Phelps to the Mariners and dealing Ramos could be their next move. Ramos hasn't had the smoothest year (4.08 ERA, 1.30 WHIP) but he's only blown two saves and still carries an impressive 11.46 K/9 over 36 outings. He'd be an upgrade for a Rays bullpen that ranks 21st in the league in ERA (4.37).
Thu, Jul 20, 2017 04:20:00 PM

FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that the Brewers, Rays and Yankees are "among the many teams in the mix" for Pat Neshek.

Rosenthal notes that talks are "fluid" and there's "no clear leader" at this point. The Nationals and Red Sox have also been connected to the side-arming reliever. An impending free agent, Neshek boasts a 1.21 ERA, 0.86 WHIP and 40/5 K/BB ratio over 37 1/3 relief innings this season.
Tue, Jul 18, 2017 09:57:00 AM

FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that the Rays are also considering Pirates left-hander Tony Watson as they look around for relief help.

It sounds like the Rays are doing due diligence on long list of names in advance of the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. Watson was pulled from the Pirates' closer role last month, but he owns a 0.84 ERA over his last 13 appearances. He'll be a free agent this winter.
Mon, Jul 17, 2017 01:35:00 PM

Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays have expressed "legit interest" in Tigers reliever Justin Wilson and that there is "some traction" in talks.

The Rays sit at 49-44, tops in the Wild Card race and three games back in the American League East. They have made improving their bullpen a priority, as FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal hears that they were involved in talks for Sean Doolittle and have also been linked to Pat Neshek. Wilson, 29, is 10-for-11 in save chances this season with a 2.29 ERA and 50/13 K/BB ratio over 35 1/3 innings. The southpaw is under team control through 2018, so he's a nice trade chip for Detroit.
Mon, Jul 17, 2017 12:14:00 PM

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