Results tagged ‘ Rays ’

Moncada hoping to sign somewhere soon

Now that he’s officially been declared a free agent, top Cuban prospect Yoan Moncada told MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez that he hopes to “sign with a team soon.”

The 19-year-old Moncada has already held private workouts for the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Padres, Giants, Rangers, Rays, Tigers and Brewers. Other teams could also make a push to sign Moncada now that he’s actually allowed to sign a deal.

“My goal is to sign with a team soon, start training with them, and make it to the Major Leagues as fast as I can with whichever team that might be,” Moncada said in Spanish to MLB.com in his first interview since arriving in the United States in late November. “I know I’m going to do the best I can for as long as I can in this sport.”

Naturally a shortstop, Moncada can also play second or third base. The Yankees and Red Sox have long been mentioned as the potential favorites to sign Moncada, but the Dodgers have also been floated as one of the most likely landing spots.

– Paul Casella

Belisario getting interest from multiple teams

The Red Sox, Nationals, Blue Jays and Rays have shown interest in free-agent reliever Ronald Belisario, according to Jon Morosi of FOX Sports.

Belisario, 32, spent time as a closer for the White Sox in 2014 and recorded eight saves. The right-hander had a 5.56 ERA in 62 appearances. The White Sox designated him for assignment in November.

The Red Sox are looking for a right-handed option to fill out their bullpen, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, so Belisario could be a fit in Boston. Meanwhile, the Nationals and Blue Jays have also shown interest in free-agent reliver Burke Badenhop.

–Austin Laymance

Rays to move Zobrist this offseason?

Though it seems to be nothing more than speculation at this point, FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi writes that there is a “decent chance” the Rays will trade second baseman Ben Zobrist at some point this offseason.

On the surface, trading Zobrist would certainly make sense for a Rays team that has already had a busy offseason. The versatile infielder is set to turn 34 years old in May and is due to make $7.5 million in 2015 before hitting the free agent market after the season. A number of teams would likely be interested in Zobrist, something that could lead to the Rays moving him this offseason before watching him walk away in free agency next winter.

While nothing has materialized quite yet, Morosi lists the Mets, Nationals, Mariners, Rangers, Cubs, Reds, and Twins as potential fits for Zobrist. Again, there is nothing concrete to report on this front as of right now, but it simply seems to be the next logical step for the Rays and is something worth monitoring into the New Year.

– Paul Casella

Moncada could start workouts within two weeks

Cuban shortstop Yoan Moncada is still awaiting clearance from the Office of Foreign Asset and Control (OFAC), but is widely expected to begin private workouts within the next two weeks according to MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez.

The 19-year-old is one of the game’s top international prospects right now and is expected to garner significant interest once he’s officially available. Though his market will continue to develop as teams make more offseason moves, the clubs that were represented at Moncada’s “batting showcase” earlier this year were the Braves, Red Sox, Yankees, Giants, Rays, Padres and Cubs.

Given his age, position and switch-hitting ability, Moncada doesn’t figure to be short on offers as the process continues. There are no clear frontrunners at this point, but it’s certainly a situation worth monitoring in the coming weeks.

– Paul Casella

Potential Rays, Padres deal reportedly waiting on Nationals

The potential trade between the Rays and Padres involving Wil Myers seems to be down to two potential scenarios, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.

There is apparently one scenario that involves the Nationals joining the mix and one scenario that would be a straight-up deal between the Rays and Padres. Either way, Tampa Bay would be sending Myers, catcher Ryan Hanigan and two lower-lever Minor Leaguers to San Diego in exchange for catcher Rene Rivera, right-hander Burch Smith and first baseman Jake Bauers. Bauers is the Padres’ No. 14-ranked prospect, according to MLB.com, while Smith checks in at No. 16.

The alternate scenario apparently involves shortstop Trea Turner (San Diego’s No. 5 prospect) and right-hander Joe Ross (No. 8 prospect). If the Nats decide to join the trade, Topkin reports that those two players would be flipped to Washington in exchange for outfield prospect Steven Souza and a low-level Minor League left-hander. Conversely, Turner and Ross would apparently stay in Tampa Bay if the Nationals elect to stay out of the deal.

Turner would need to be listed as a player to be named later in any potential trade, due to the fact that he was just drafted this past year. The Padres selected Turner with the 13th overall pick in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft.

There clearly remains a number of moving parts in this potential deal, but there should be some clarity provided as soon as the Nationals make a decision, presumably either Wednesday night or Thursday.

– Paul Casella

Rays reportedly working on multiple deals

The main rumor surrounding the Rays right now is obviously the potential trade that would send Wil Myers to the Padres — but that’s not all Tampa Bay has in the works.

Multiple reports on Wednesday have suggested that the Rays could flip at least one player they receive from San Diego to another team in a separate deal. The most popular rumor right now seems to be that the Rays, if they indeed trade Myers, are trying to work out a deal to acquire the Nationals’ Steven Souza as his replacement. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports and Joel Sherman of the New York Post, among numerous others, have each suggested this as a possibility.

Despite being ranked as the Nationals’ No. 5 overall prospect — and seemingly being Major League ready — Souza doesn’t have much of a place in Washington as long as the Nationals remain healthy. The trio of Bryce Harper, Denard Span and Jayson Werth are locked in as the Nats’ starting outfielders.

That makes the 25-year-old Souza somewhat expendable, for the right price. He spent the majority of last season with Triple-A Syracuse, where he hit a staggering .350/.432/.590 to go along with 18 home runs, 75 RBIs and 26 stolen bases.

Any potential deal between the Rays and Nats obviously hinges on the Rays first completing their rumored deal with the Padres to clear a spot for Souza. If they do ultimately work out their first deal, they can focus their sights entirely on negotiating a deal for Souza, though it’s unclear at this point what they would possibly send to the Nats in return.

– Paul Casella

Report: Rays put Joyce on the block

Add another outfielder to the trade market.

The Rays have made Matt Joyce available and have discussed the 30-year-old with other clubs, according to Jon Morosi of FoxSports.com. Joyce, who has been with Tampa Bay since 2009, is arbitration-eligible for the final time this winter after making $3.7 million in ‘14. He is set to become a free agent next offseason.

Joyce is a career .250/.342/.441 hitter, and the left-handed batter has mostly faced right-handed pitchers, slashing .261/.356/.463 against them. He has posted an above-average OPS+ of at least 108 for five straight seasons.

Defensively, Joyce has spent the bulk of his time in right field but played more in left last year.

– Andrew Simon

D-backs add to rotation with Hellickson

The D-backs made their first trade under new general manager Dave Stewart on Friday, acquiring right-hander Jeremy Hellickson from the Rays for a pair of prospects.

The Rays took Hellickson in the fourth round of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft, and he won American League Rookie of the Year honors in ‘11, when he went 13-10 with a 2.95 ERA in 29 starts. He followed that up with a 3.10 ERA the next year, but that number rose all the way to 5.17 in ‘13.

Hellickson didn’t debut until July 8 last year after recovering from elbow surgery. The 27-year-old went 1-5 with a 4.52 ERA over 13 outings, striking out 54 and walking 21 in 63 2/3 innings. He made $3.625 million through arbitration in ’14 and has two seasons to go before free agency.

In return, the Rays got 20-year-old shortstop Andrew Velazquez, who was the D-backs’ No. 12 prospect in MLB.com’s rankings, as well as 19-year-old outfielder Justin Williams, the No. 14 prospect. Velazquez hit .290/.367/.428 with nine homers and 50 steals for Class A South Bend this year, while Williams hit a combined .351/.403/.467 with four homers and 46 RBIs in 74 games for Rookie-level Missoula and South Bend.

– Andrew Simon

2/13 Roundup

Several teams followed the lead of the Dodgers and D-backs and officially opened Spring Training for pitchers and catchers on Thursday. The rest will follow between Friday and Monday.

But that doesn’t mean the Hot Stove has been switched off, with a handful of free agents still available and some clubs continuing to look for ways to improve via trade. The Nationals, for instance, found a strong backup for catcher Wilson Ramos on Thursday, acquiring switch hitter Jose Lobaton and two prospects from the Rays for young right-hander Nathan Karns.

In other news from around the league:

  • The Indians announced their four-year, $25 million extension with outfielder Michael Brantley. The deal buys out his arbitration eligibility and includes a fifth-year option.
  • The Orioles have agreed to a three-year contract with South Korean pitcher Suk-min Yoon, pending a physical, a source told MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli. However, physicals have led Baltimore to void two other deals this offseason. Yoon could fit as a starter or a reliever with the O’s.
  • Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said his team isn’t likely to spend more this offseason, meaning free-agent shortstop Stephen Drew won’t be coming to Queens.
  • Cuban free-agents Aledmys Diaz and Odrisamer Despaigne worked out for Major League scouts during a showcase in Arizona. Diaz, an infielder, and Despaigne, a right-handed pitcher, both hope to sign with a team by the end of the month.
  • The Mariners officially signed free-agent closer Fernando Rodney to a two-year contract and inked veteran lefty Randy Wolf to a Minor League deal. They also placed outfielder Franklin Gutierrez on the restricted list after he informed them that he will miss the season with a chronic gastrointestinal issue.
  • The Cubs officially reached deals with free-agent righties Jason Hammel and James McDonald, on the same day they revealed Jake Arrieta has been dealing with shoulder tightness that will push him behind schedule.
  • The Phillies released veteran righty Chad Gaudin after he failed a physical. The two sides had agreed to a Minor League contract in January.
  • The Rays are likely to sign free-agent lefty Erik Bedard, according to multiple reports. The 34-year-old went 4-12 with a 4.59 ERA in 32 games, including 26 starts, for the Astros last season.

– Andrew Simon

2/6 Roundup

The Hot Stove saw a flurry of activity involving relievers on Thursday, most notably closer Fernando Rodney reportedly agreeing to a two-year contract with the Mariners worth at least $14 million.

Rodney was the top bullpen arm on the market entering Thursday. Over the past two seasons with the Rays, he collected 85 saves and posted a 1.91 ERA. Seattle has not confirmed the deal, which won’t be official until he passes a physical.

Meanwhile, the Marlins and Carlos Marmol reached an agreement on a one-year contract worth $1.25 million. A former All-Star closer with the Cubs, Marmol transitioned to a middle relief role last season after being traded to the Dodgers. The veteran is expected to compete for a setup role this year. Miami added further depth to its bullpen in Chaz Roe, who agreed to a Minor League contract that includes an invitation to Major League Spring Training.

The Cardinals were also in on the action, signing veteran Pat Neshek to a Minor League deal with an invitation to big league camp.

In other news from around the league:

• Despite interest from at least a dozen teams, the Nationals are in no rush to trade second baseman Danny Espinosa, writes MLB.com’s Bill Ladson. Although he’s coming off a down year, Washington still has faith in Espinosa and will give him every chance to make the club this season.

• The D-backs inked outfielder Mark Trumbo to a one-year deal, avoiding arbitration.

• The Cubs and second baseman Darwin Barney won’t be going to arbitration after agreeing to a one-year contract. The deal leaves right-handed starter Jeff Samardzija as Chicago’s only arbitration eligible player.

• Catcher Matt Wieters and the Orioles also avoided arbitration by coming to terms on a one-year deal.

• Infielder Brett Wallace was designated for assignment by the Astros in a move to open a roster spot for pitcher Jerome Williams, who agreed to a one-year pact earlier this week. Houston has 10 days to trade Wallace, outright him to the Minor Leagues or release him.

• Tampa Bay signed five players to Minor League contracts with invitations to Major League Spring Training: infielder Wilson Betemit, outfielders Justin Christian and Jeremy Moore, catcher Eddy Rodriguez and right-hander Juan Sandoval.

-Austin Laymance

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