Tuesday, December 12, 2017
  • The Heater
  • Marc Topkin

Tampa Bay Rays hot topics: Alex the enemy?

We don't know what moves the Rays will make this off-season, just that there will be some big ones as they look to cut payroll and decide whether to try to remain competitive or go for a rebuild. With the annual winter meetings next week at Disney, we are looking today at some of their hottest topics:

In allowing eight players who were big parts of their team in 2017, and some for many years, to become free agents, the Rays run the risk of having to face them on a regular basis.

With trades, they can try to control that, rarely dealing with the other AL East teams – the July 31 deal of INF Tim Beckham to the Orioles an exception.

But with the ex-Rays on the free agent market, they have no say, and the potential for considerable regrets.

Most concerning from this year's class would be RHP Alex Cobb, who is rumored to be receiving interest from the Yankees and Orioles, and could be of interest to the Red Sox as well.  (The NL Central Cubs, though, with former Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey joining ex-manager Joe Maddon in Chicago, may be the favorites.)

Knowing how well Cobb came back in 2017 in his first full season after Tommy John elbow surgery, and how fierce of a competitor he is, the prospect of facing him potentially six times a year is not an appealing one for the Rays.

Here is the list of players off their 2017 roster they have allowed to become free agents:

RHP Alex Cobb

1B/DH Logan Morrison

1B/DH Lucas Duda

RHP Steve Cishek

RHP Tommy Hunter

RHP Sergio Romo

OF Peter Bourjos

LHP Xavier Cedeno

OF Trevor Plouffe

OF/DH Colby Rasmus

RHP Shawn Tolleson

C Curt Casali (signed minor-league deal with Angels)

OF Cesar Puello

Comments

Tampa Bay Rays make a small deal, acquire INF Joey Wendle

While continuing discussions on bigger topics, the Rays made a small deal Monday, acquiring INF Joey Wendle from the A's for a player to be named later or cash.Wendle, 27, spent part of the last two seasons in the majors, hitting .266 over 36 games. ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 1

Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 1

UPDATE, 6:14: The Rays continued talks with no major moves seemingly close, but did make a small deal, acquiring INF Joey Wendle from the A's. Wendle, 27, has spent parts of the last two seasons in the majors, hitting .266 in 36 games. He is a lefty ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Rays manager Kevin Cash on trade speculation, bullpen staffing, Yankees addition of Giancarlo Stanton

Rays manager Kevin Cash on trade speculation, bullpen staffing, Yankees addition of Giancarlo Stanton

Rays manager Kevin Cash was first up in the media room at the winter meetings today and here are a few up the more interesting things he said:* On trade speculation regarding their veterans such as Chris Archer and Evan Longoria: "I know there is a l...
Published: 12/11/17
Tampa Bay Rays cornerstone Evan Longoria “somewhere in limbo” due to trade speculation

Tampa Bay Rays cornerstone Evan Longoria “somewhere in limbo” due to trade speculation

Franchise cornerstone 3B Evan Longoria considers his future with the Rays "somewhere in limbo" based on speculation he could be traded as part of a cost-cutting and rebuilding movement."I don't know what to think, really,'' Longoria told the Tampa Ba...
Published: 12/11/17
AL East life gets even tougher for Rays with Yankees acquiring slugger Giancarlo Stanton from Marlins

AL East life gets even tougher for Rays with Yankees acquiring slugger Giancarlo Stanton from Marlins

The Marlins apparently found a trade to Giancarlo Stanton's liking, reportedly striking a deal early Saturday to send the slugging outfielder to the Yankees.That's bad news for the Rays and the other AL East teams, who will now have to face Stanton &...
Published: 12/09/17
Rays radio broadcaster Andy Freed takes part in event supporting fight against ALS

Rays radio broadcaster Andy Freed takes part in event supporting fight against ALS

Tampa Bay Rays radio broadcaster Andy Freed was up early Saturday to meet up with the Bladerunners team in Clearwater at the ALS Association Florida Chapter's annual Ride, Run, Roll to Defeat ALS, supporting Mike Leist, a former history teacher at St...
Published: 12/09/17
Ohtani makes surprising decision in picking Angels; will face Rays in July at the Trop

Ohtani makes surprising decision in picking Angels; will face Rays in July at the Trop

Japanese two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani decided on his team Friday, and it was something of a surprise as he opted to sign with the Angels.The Mariners and Padres had emerged as the favorites from the seven teams that were chosen, from the full fiel...
Published: 12/08/17
As Tampa Bay Rays head to winter meetings, they are open to “anything and everything” in terms of deals

As Tampa Bay Rays head to winter meetings, they are open to “anything and everything” in terms of deals

Tampa Bay Rays officials will head to next week's winter meetings at Disney eager to get started making moves and willing to consider just about anything – and trading anybody – that they feel makes sense."We have to be open," GM Erik Nea...
Published: 12/07/17
Tampa Bay Rays hot topics: Joey Bats or Party at Napoli’s

Tampa Bay Rays hot topics: Joey Bats or Party at Napoli’s

   We don't know what moves the Rays will make this off-season, just that there will be some big ones as they look to cut payroll and decide whether to try to remain competitive or go for a rebuild. With the annual winter meetings next week...
Published: 12/05/17
Updated: 12/06/17
Tampa Bay Rays hot topics: Flip or flop? Time for a rebuild?

Tampa Bay Rays hot topics: Flip or flop? Time for a rebuild?

   We don't know what moves the Rays will make this off-season, just that there will be some big ones as they look to cut payroll and decide whether to try to remain competitive or go for a rebuild. With the annual winter meetings next week...
Published: 12/05/17
Updated: 12/06/17