Rays fans will get to see a familiar face coming into the AL East next season, albeit on a team they don’t like one bit. Jonny Gomes, the third place finisher in 2004 as a Devil Ray who slammed 66 homers in 415 games with the team, has signed a 2-year, 10 million dollar contract with the Boston Red Sox to get starts in the corner outfield positions and possibly first base. Gomes, who turns 32 today, had a nice season with the Oakland A’s in 2012, posting a .262/.377/.491 line (140 OPS+) with 10 doubles, 18 homers, and 47 RBI. Nice to see Gomes get the first multi-year contract of his career, and although it will be annoying to watch the Rays play against him 18 times a year, it should be fun seeing him on a more regular basis as well.
We’ve heard for a while now that the Rays are open to trading James Shields. But just because they’re open to trading him doesn’t mean there’s a high probability that it will actually happen.
"“Oh, they’re open to it,” said an official of one team that checked in with the Rays. “They’re open to being overwhelmed.”"
Jayson Stark of ESPN talked about who the Rays are listening to offers for Shields, but the asking price is in the neighborhood of the Matt Garza deal- a trade that netted the Rays top prospects Chris Archer and Hak-Ju Lee along with Sam Fuld and two other players who have seen big league time in outfielder Brandon Guyer and catcher Robinson Chirinos. The Rays love everything about Shields and they’re going to trade him just because they have pitching depth. They’re waiting for a package of players who they believe can make their team better both now and in the long-term even as they move on without the most dependable pitcher in franchise history, and that package may never come. If it is going to happen, the timing could be very similar to the Garza trade, which happened in January of 2011, because by that point all attractive free agent pitchers will be off the market and some team could be desperate enough to give the Rays what they want.