Peter Gammons just tweeted the following:
Rumblings around St. Pete ballpark was a BJ
Upton-Cliff Lee deal. 3-way?
The only other time I’ve seen the Rays mentioned in Cliff Lee talk is when they’re lumped in those sentences that begin with “besides the Mets and the Twins, many other teams could conceivably get in on the Cliff Lee sweepstakes . . .” Not that there isn’t some sense to this. B.J. Upton and the Rays seem to be on the outs and it seems like the Rays need some sort of kick to help them regain control on the AL East.
Still, offense — not starting pitching — is the Rays’ biggest concern and with Franklin Gutierrez around, what interest do the Mariners have in acquiring a centerfielder? For this to work the Rays would likely have to give up a nice shiny something from their deep farm system, not B.J. Upton. Or, as Gammons suggests, it would have to be a three-way deal. Maybe the Braves — who could use an outfielder and would like to see Lee anywhere other than on the Mets roster — get involved. Not that I want them to get Upton.
Ultimately I think Gammons’ use of the word “rumblings” is right. Nothing too specific was said and nothing too loudly. Just loose talk among the girls at the ballpark, ya know?
Corey Dickerson of the Tampa Bay Rays wasn’t a super huge guy or anything, but he’s going to be smaller this year: he told reporters today that he’s lost 25 pounds. He attributes it to a new diet and a workout regimen and says it’ll help him with his running, swing and throwing.
Dickerson had a down year in 2016, so if losing 25 pounds is something he thinks will work for him he’s got nothing to lose. Of course the best way for him to improve his numbers is to convince the Rays to trade him back to Colorado, but that’s not likely.
As I note every spring, “Best Shape of His Life” stories aren’t really about players being in The Best Shape of Their Lives. They’re about players and agents seeking to create positive stories.
We know this because the vast majority of Best Shape of His Life claims are about guys who were either injured the season before, guys who had subpar years the season before or players whose conditioning was a point of controversy the season before. These folks, or their agents + reporters who have little if nothing to write about in the offseason = BSOHL.
James McCann hurt his ankle last season and had a subpar year at the plate. So not only is he a perfect BSOHL candidate, he went old school with the claim and hit it right on the money, verbatim:
Spring training is less than a month away, folks!