UPDATE: Maybe not. Jayson Stark of ESPN.com hears the Rays are unlikely to make another deal today. Don’t worry, this madness will be over in an hour or so.
2:24 PM: The Rays already picked up Chad Qualls from the Diamondbacks today, but with Grant Balfour expected to miss 4-6 weeks with a strained intercostal/rib muscle, they are still sniffing around for bullpen help.
According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Rays have interest in Scott Downs of the Blue Jays and Brandon League of the Mariners.
League has a 3.40 ERA and 1.19 WHIP over 47 appearances with the Mariners this season. The 27-year-old right-hander is under team control until 2013, so there isn’t much urgency for Trader Jack to swap him. He’d be costly.
Downs has a 2.34 ERA and 1.02 WHIP in 47 appearances with the Jays this season. He projects to be a Type A free agent, so the Blue Jays probably be just fine with keeping him and taking the draft picks if they don’t receive a substantial offer.
Free agent left-hander Wade Miley is among several offseason targets for the Twins, according to a report from Darren Wolfson of KSTP. Miley’s $12 million option was declined by the Orioles back in November, and while he’s expected to attract another major league deal in 2018, he hasn’t exactly been highly sought after this offseason.
The 31-year-old lefty finished his second campaign with the Orioles in 2017, producing an 8-15 record in 32 starts and ranking second-to-last among all AL starters with a 5.61 ERA, 5.3 BB/9 and 8.1 SO/9 in 157 1/3 innings. Even taking Miley’s undeniable durability into account — he remained healthy for the bulk of the season and completed his sixth straight year with 30+ starts — his declining value and career-worst numbers may lower his price tag as the 2018 season approaches.
Wolfson notes that the Twins have engaged in “regular dialogue” with Miley’s agent this winter, but he’s far from the only starting pitcher they have their eye on. Right-handers Yu Darvish, Lance Lynn, Alex Cobb and Chris Tillman are still on their radar, among several others, and club owner Jim Pohlad said Saturday that he was “totally on board” with the idea of signing a big-name free agent like Darvish or another available starter. “There are some interesting names and some interesting opportunities there,” Pohlad told a crowd at TwinsFest. “I’m as intrigued by it as anybody and attracted to it as anybody.”