Results tagged ‘ Rays ’

Latest Rays Rumors

Rumors that James Shields is going to the Angels for Hank Conger, Peter Bourjos, and Ervin Santana have been constant, but ESPN’s Jayson Stark tempered those rumors by noting that Evan Longoria’s return would likely cut the Rays incentive to trade Shields since, with Longoria back in the lineup, the Rays would have much-improved chances to earn a spot in the playoffs.

Stark also reported that there is a “big market” for Rays reliever Wade Davis.

–Bill Chastain

Rays Said to Have Interest in Ryan Roberts

According to Yahoo Sports, the Rays are interested in Diamondbacks infielder Ryan Roberts.

Evan Longoria’s return date remains a mystery, even though he will be accompanying the team on it’s three-stop road trip that begins Tuesday night in Baltimore. Without Longoria, the team has been sputtering on offense.

Roberts, 31, is hitting .252 with six home runs and six stolen bases. He can play different positions, which historically has been the norm for what the Rays like in an infielder. If acquired, Roberts could fill in at third base until Longoria returned then move to another infield position.

The Rays have had little luck with veteran infielders this season beginning with a stint by Drew Sutton followed by Brooks Conrad’s current stint.

–Bill Chastain

Angels Rumor Doesn’t Appear to Have Legs

Based on Joe Maddon’s pre-game comments Saturday, the rumored trade being discussed between the Angels and Rays that would send James Shields and Ben Zobrist to the Angels for Garrett Richards and Howie Kendrick doesn’t appear to have an truth behind it.

When Maddon was asked if he and Andrew Friedman, ever “guffawed” at any of the rumors they read or hear about, he said they did on Saturday at the rumor about the trade with the Angels. Maddon maintained that their guffaw had nothing to do with the players involved rather the idea of the trade itself.
–Bill Chastain

Shields Rumors

James Shields is rumored to be heading to any number of teams according to multiple reports. While some of what is being speculated could be true, like he’s been struggling because he’s trying to be too perfect due to the Rays’ lack of offense, I just don’t see this one happening.
Shields is too valuable for what the Rays are trying to do, which is to put a quality starter on the mound every night that is capable of going deep into the game. He’s healthy and seemingly just a tick off right now. In addition, Shields is well within the team’s price constraints; they have a $9 million option for him next season.
Andrew Friedman has said on many occasions that the Rays do not want to get into a situation where they have to pay “market” for their pitching. So keeping as much starting pitching as possible remains a priority. Besides, what do the Rays trade for? They need offense right now, but what will the team look like once Sam Fuld, Matt Joyce, and Evan Longoria return? Not knowing what they have and when they will have it further clouds this picture. So I think the rumors will continue, but I don’t see the Rays as players in making trades where their starting pitching is concerned.
–Bill Chastain

Solid Outing By Price

David Price made his third outing of the spring Monday against the Pirates and he looked strong in four innings of work.

The Rays left-hander allowed two runs on four hits and a walk while striking out two. The only blemish on his line came when Matt Diaz hit an opposite-field two-run homer in the fourth inning.

Price threw 59 pitches — including 27 in the fourth — and 38 were for strikes.

–Bill Chastain

Crawford Apologizes

Carl Crawford held court in Fort Myers today and spoke about the Tampa Bay area and Rays fans after being asked about not thanking them more during his Red Sox introduction press conference in December. Crawford said the following: “My throat was hurting so bad, and I was trying to limit myself to as many words as possible. If I made a few people upset, I’m sorry about it. Everybody knows I loved Tampa when I was there. I had a good time there. At the press conference, I was overwhelmed by cameras. I’ve never been in this situation before. It just slipped my mind. To the people of Tampa and the front office, I apologize and I’m sorry about that.”

–Bill Chastain

Friday activity

Johnny Damon and Casey Kotchman rolled into camp Friday.

Damon immediately came off as everybody’s new best friend as he worked the clubhouse and seemed to be having fun while doing so.

Kotchman spoke of how he is looking forward to returning to his hometown of St. Petersburg to join the Rays as a candidate for first base.

Meanwhile, Jeremy Hellickson has what is being described as a strained right hamstring.  Taking the cautious approach, the Rays held the rookie right-hander out of practice on Friday.

— Bill Chastain

Kids Are All Right

Just got finished walking through the clubhouse and here are a few observations:

For starters, a bearded Kelly Shoppach said he’s worked hard this winter and he looks great.

Next, there are a lot of new faces in the clubhouse, including the Cubs’ contingent of Chris Archer, Robinson Chirinos and Sam Fuld, who all give the team a younger look.

Meanwhile, Dan Johnson remained at a lighter weight; he liked the benefits of playing at a lower weight last season. The first base candidate said he’s ready to compete.

— Bill Chastain

Fresh Air Buffs Delight

Baseball fans have long pined for the “smell of the grass, the crack of the bat, and the smell of suntan lotion” at Spring Training.

Well, folks, Spring Training has not yet begun, but Rays players were out working out Monday morning in perfect weather conditions. While a lot of players are gone from last year’s team, everything felt right as they went about their paces.

Every team is in first place at this point and, yes, it’s a great time to enjoy baseball.

–Bill Chastain

Rays Keep Anderson and Ruggiano

Leslie Anderson and Justin Ruggiano have both cleared waivers and have been outrighted to Triple-A Durham.

Both of the outfielders will be in Major League camp this spring.

–Bill Chastain