Rays Rumors

Tampa Bay Rays Rumors: Winter Meetings Day 2 Recap

By Althea Pashman
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - APRIL 17: Tampa Bay Rays closer Alex Colome (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - APRIL 17: Tampa Bay Rays closer Alex Colome (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images) /
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Day Two of the Winter Meetings was another quiet day for the Tampa Bay Rays, though they did make a minor trade, they continue to discuss several possibilities.

So far, the Tampa Bay Rays have not made a splash during the Winter Meetings as many had expected. Through two days of meetings, the Rays have added two infielders, although they continue to talk with several teams there are no offers on the table.

The majority of those talks have revolved around Alex Colome, as the St. Louis Cardinals and Colorado Rockies continue in their pursuit for the majors’ top closer with lesser involvement from the New York Mets and Chicago Cubs. However, the Rockies could bow out as former Ray Jake McGee has agreed to return to the Rockies, pending a physical.

Meanwhile, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times shed some interesting news in his blog “The Heater” when he reported that Colome on Tuesday night started to follow some of the Cardinals social media accounts (Instagram). Colome responded:

"“I keep getting nice messages and tags from those accounts, so I gave them a follow” – Alex Colome"

Topkin added a bit of his thoughts on why Colome did this adding that maybe Colome already knows he is headed to the Cardinals and the teams are working out the formalities of the trade.

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On the other hand, that Colome really wants to go to St. Louis and this was his way of showing that, hoping to get some reaction of the Cardinal fans. One of Topkin’s final thoughts was maybe Colome was just having some fun!

Milwaukee contacted the Rays about their “potential trade pieces”, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via Twitter. Haudricourt mentions that no indication has been given what pitchers the Brewers are interested in, though he speculates that Chris Archer and possibly Jake Odorizzi are the ones.

The minor or should I say small deal that the Rays made on Day 2 was acquiring infielder Ryan Schimpf from the San Diego Padres for minor league infielder Deion Tansel. Schimpf is yet another left-handed hitter in an already left-handed hitting potential lineup.

Rays VP/GM Erik Neander complimented Schimpf’s power, but acknowledged the trade-off by saying, “His skill set rests on the extreme of the spectrum.”

His versatility is one of the keys to his acquisition as he can play second and third, spot duty in the outfield and could DH. He was the Padres opening day third baseman least season, but was optioned in June to Triple-A after slashing .158/.284/.424 in 53 games. Despite the batting average and on-base-percentage, he hit 14 home runs with 25 RBIs, but also struck out 70 times in165 at-bats.

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Schimpf has spent parts of the past two seasons with the Padres (142 games), making 126 starts between the infield and outfield. Over this span, he has slashed .195/.317/.492 with 34 home runs, 19 doubles, and 76 RBIs. However, in 441 at-bats he has struck out 175 times.

From the Rays PR Department release on Schimpf:

"In Schimpf’s career, 67.4 percent of his hits have gone extra base (28-1B, 19-2B, 5-3B, and 34-HR). This is the highest ratio in the majors (minimum 500 PA) over that span (since 2016). Additionally, his 12.97 AB/HR ratio over the last two seasons ranks sixth in the majors and third in the National League (min. 500 PA), behind Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton (11.74) and Los Angeles’ Cody Bellinger (12.31)."

Per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, this trade, Monday’s trade for Joey Wendle and the waiver claim of Micah Johnson is not a lead up to the possible trades of Brad Miller and Evan Longoria.

It was however, “Just a matter of opportunity,” said GM Erik Neander.

"“They were all price points that we thought made sense. These are guys that have had, frankly, limited major-league opportunity that we’ve liked for some time and you never know in a fresh start, fresh environment, fresh place, where things might go from there.” – Rays GM Erik Neander"

Next: Tampa Bay Rays Rumors: Winter Meetings Day 1 Recap

Although the three recent acquisitions are interesting additions, as each has added depth to the infield and all three being added to the 40-man roster it sorta makes you wonder in what direction the Rays are really going in. As well, one can only imagine what Day 3 will bring or take away from the Rays.

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