Rays AP

Settling the Score: Friday’s results

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Maybe it’s time we stop talking about the Rays as sellers? Just a thought.

The Rays rolled to their eighth straight win last night with a 6-4 victory over the Red Sox at Tropicana Field. The game featured a great pitching matchup between David Price and Jon Lester, two names who have surfaced in trade rumors in recent weeks. The Rays actually trailed in this one until they rallied against Boston’s bullpen in the seventh inning. Ben Zobrist tied things up with an RBI single before Evan Longoria delivered a bases-clearing double down the left field line to put the Rays in front for good.

Price allowed three runs over eight innings and struck out 10 batters. He has now gone at least eight innings in eight out of his last nine starts.

On the strength of their recent hot streak, the Rays are now 50-53 for the year. This is the closest they have been to .500 since early May. They currently sit 7 1/2 games back of the first-place Orioles in the American League East and 4 1/2 back for one of the Wild Card spots.

Your Friday box scores:

Red Sox 4, Rays 6

Cardinals 6, Cubs 7

Blue Jays 4, Yankees 6

Diamondbacks 5, Phillies 9

Athletics 1, Rangers 4

Nationals 4, Reds 1

Indians 4, Royals 6

Padres 5, Braves 2

Marlins 2, Astros 0

White Sox 9, Twins 5

Mets 3, Brewers 2

Pirates 1, Rockies 8

Tigers 1, Angels 2

Dodgers 8, Giants 1

Orioles 2, Mariners 1 (10 innings)

Phillies sign outfielder Michael Saunders

CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 3: Michael Saunders #21 of the Toronto Blue Jays runs to first after being walked during the third inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on May 3, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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The Phillies have signed free agent outfielder Michael Saunders.

Saunders was an All-Star in 2016 due to his wonderful start, but he cratered in the second half of the season. Overall is numbers looked good — he hit 24 homers and posted a line of .253/.338/.478, but his second half line was .178/.282/.357 in 58 games. He’s not the best defender around either.

The Phillies could use him, however, and if he has another red hot first half, there’s a decent chance they could flip him if they wanted to.

Jose Bautista and the Blue Jays nearing a two-year, $35-40 million deal

Toronto Blue Jays Jose Bautista flips his bat after hitting a three-run homer during seventh inning game 5 American League Division Series baseball action in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
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It was first reported that the Blue Jays and Jose Bautista were close to a deal last night. Now Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is near completion. It will likely a two-year contract in the $35-40 million range.

Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.

The Jays, who already lost Edwin Encarnacion to free agency, get their slugger back on a short term deal. Unlike anyone else, they don’t have to give up the draft pick attached to him via the qualifying offer. Bautista, in turn, will make, on average, more than he would’ve made on the qualifying offer if he would’ve accepted it and a raise over the $14 million he made in 2016.