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Rays exercise Nathan Eovaldi’s 2018 club option

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The Rays have exercised pitcher Nathan Eovaldi‘s 2018 club option worth $2 million, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Eovaldi, 27, missed the entire 2017 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in August 2016. He did make one rehab appearance in September with Double-A Montgomery, recording a pair of strikeouts in one inning.

The Rays signed Eovaldi in February knowing his timeline and negotiated the club option for flexibility. It seems the club is pleased with his progress. Per Topkin, manager Kevin Cash said he expects Eovaldi to play a big role in the Rays’ starting rotation next season.

Report: Momentum in talks between Mariners, Jon Jay

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MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that there is some momentum in talks between the Mariners and free agent outfielder Jon Jay.

Jay, 32, hit .296/.374/.375 in 433 plate appearances with the Cubs last season, which is adequate. He’s heralded more for his defense and his ability to play all three outfield spots.

The Mariners are losing center fielder Jarrod Dyson to free agency and likely don’t want to rely on Guillermo Heredia next season, hence the interest in Jay. The free agent class for center fielders is otherwise relatively weak.