The Rays would need to be overwhelmed by any offer for B.J. Upton

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There has been a lot of speculation about the Rays shopping B.J. Upton. He was a hot topic at the trade deadline and now, since the season has ended, many people think the Rays are willing to deal him.

But maybe not that willing.  Buster Olney tweets that the Rays would have to be “overwhelmed” by an offer in order to give him up.  Which seems a bit odd given that, with Desmond Jennings in the fold, Tampa Bay could easily afford to lose Upton. And given that he’s due a raise in his final year of arbitration, actually affording him would seem to be a legitimate concern.

But really, what are they gonna say?  “Eh, we’ll trade him. Got anything decent? No? Well, um, OK.”

Alex Wood to try pitching out of the stretch

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Pedro Moura of The Athletic reports that Dodgers starter Alex Wood plans to pitch out of the stretch throughout the 2018 season. Wood got the idea when he watched Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg pitch against the Dodgers.

Wood, 27, finished last season 16-3 with a 2.72 ERA and a 151/38 K/BB ratio in 152 1/3 innings. That’s a mighty fine season, one in which many pitchers would not dare to mess with something that isn’t broken.

Interestingly, Wood indeed has had better results with runners on base — when he would pitch out of the stretch — as opposed to the bases being empty, with a respective OPS allowed of .523 versus .684, respectively. Over his career, he has allowed a .617 OPS with runners on and .706 with the bases empty.

In response to Moura’s tweet about Wood, retired pitchers Dan Haren and Jered Weaver took the opportunity to burn themselves. Haren tweeted, “I pitched a few seasons completely out of the stretch actually, just not by choice.” Weaver responded, “Sometimes I would just step off and throw the ball in the gap myself because I knew the hitter would do it anyways.”