Very little action, lots of talk, pondering the possibilities and the potential direction they could take was how the Tampa Bay Rays spent Day One of the 2017 Winter Meetings.
The big question heading into opening day of the Winter Meetings is how many and how much of the Tampa Bay Rays roster will remain together as the week progresses. However, with the New York Yankees acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton, the Rays may have no choice but to rebuild.
Rumors are heating up faster than it takes to boil water and when Rays Manger Kevin Cash responded to the questions regarding the rumors, especially those involving Chris Archer and Evan Longoria, Cash responded:
"“I know there is a lot of chatter about our players. I don’t know what will take place.”"
Rumors surrounded many of the Rays on Monday, as a few more teams threw in their caps in pursuit of Alex Colome. Joining the Cardinals for Colome’s services now include the Colorado Rockies, the New York Mets and Chicago Cubs.
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Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports via Twitter mentions that the Cards and Rockies are “aggressively pursuing” Colome. Although the Cards just signed former Houston closer Luke Gregerson, they are not finished adding to their depleted bullpen.
St. Louis has the pieces the Rays could warrant in return for Colome, specifically for the outfield with Stephen Piscotty and Randal Grichuk. St. Louis also has another potential piece for the Rays in catcher Carson Kelly.
Speculation on my part, for Kelly to be included in the deal, Evan Longoria could be the solution. Acquiring Kelly would then afford the Rays to trade Wilson Ramos; however, the Cards may be reluctant to trade Kelly is penciled in as Molina’s backup.
According to Susan Slusser of the SF Chronicle, Oakland needs outfield help and is interested in Piscotty. However, they are showing interest in Steven Souza Jr. as a backup if Piscotty cannot be acquired.
Colorado is looking for a closer, as Greg Holland walked away after rejecting not only the Rockies qualifying offer, but his player option. Kyle Downing of mlbtraderumors.com writes that the Rockies have some young starters that could be offered.
As in the past, the Chris Archer rumors are off and running. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that St. Louis, Minnesota, Atlanta and the Chicago Cubs are keeping a close eye on Archer.
Connor Byrne of mlbtraderumors.com makes a strong statement in that Archer’s contract is a key factor, which adds value. He points out the Archer is under team control for the next four years at a very appealing $34 million, which includes team options for 2020 and 2021. He expects a bidding war if the Rays are serious in trading him.
On a final note of Day One, the Rays acquired Joey Wendle from the Oakland A’s for a player to be named later or cash considerations. Wendle was DFAd by the A’s last week.
Speaking to Bill Chastain of MLB.com, Rays Sr. VP/GM Erik Neander said this of Wendle:
"“Grinder-type player. High baseball IQ, left-handed hitter, infielder that has a history of hitting. Part of what has drawn us to him over time is … [he is] really a high-quality defender and is about as reliable as they come.”"
Predominately a second baseman, Wendle spent parts of the past two seasons with the A’s appearing in 36 games (27 starts), slashing .266/.305/.339 (29-for-109) with two home runs, two doubles and 16 RBIs.
Last season with Triple-A Nashville in 118 games, Wendle batted .285/.327/.429 with 13 stolen bases, eight home runs, eight triples and 54 RBIs. With the addition of Wendle, the Rays 40-man roster now stands at 38.