Olney: The Rays would prefer to trade Garza next summer


After the back-and-forth on the Adrian Beltre deal I’m not 100% inclined to believe those who naysay a potential transaction, but this is worth noting: contrary to reports last night, Buster Olney says that the Rays are not close to trading Matt Garza and would rather trade him next summer at the deadline instead.

We’ve known the Rays and Cubs have been talking, but I’m a little dubious about those teams matching up well in a trade. The Cubs’ system is not fat with prospects, and it seems like the Rays could do better elsewhere.  If Olney is right, they’ll try to do so next year.

It may be the smart play from a competitive standpoint too. I mean, I think the Rays are going to finish third in the division as we sit here today, but it’s possible that the Yankees will stumble out of the gate and the Rays could outperform expectations. If so, they’d probably prefer to have the pitching depth for a run at the playoffs, wouldn’t they?

David Phelps to undergo Tommy John surgery

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Pitcher David Phelps has a torn UCL and will undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his 2018 season, the Mariners announced on Wednesday. Phelps was making brief one-inning stints in the Cactus League as he worked his way back from a procedure to remove a bone spur from his elbow last September. He said he felt the ligament tear on his final pitch against the Angels in his March 17 appearance.

Phelps, 31, was expected to set up for closer Edwin Diaz. The right-hander, between the Marlins and Mariners last season, posted a 3.40 ERA with a 62/26 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. He and the Mariners avoided arbitration in January, agreeing on a $5.55 million salary for the 2018 campaign. Phelps will become eligible to become a free agent at the end of the season.

As the Mariners noted in their statement, the expected recovery period for Tommy John surgery is 12-15 months, so this very likely cuts into Phelps’ 2019 season as well.