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Report: Rays likely to trade Jake Odorizzi, Alex Colome


Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times speculates that the Rays will try to move starter Jake Odorizzi and closer Alex Colome this offseason. No teams have come calling for Odorizzi just yet, but Colome has at least one suitor in the Cardinals, who reportedly discussed a trade for the 28-year-old righty several weeks ago.

Odorizzi, 27, had trouble replicating the solid numbers he posted in 2016. He finished his sixth run with the Rays in 2017, going 10-8 in 28 starts with a 4.14 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 in 143 1/3 innings. Part of that decline can be traced back to a cluster of injuries, from a lower back strain to a hamstring strain to a bout of food poisoning. All told, the right-hander missed just over a month of starts from April to August, making 2017 the first season (since his rookie campaign in 2014) in which he did not record at least 150 innings.

Colome, meanwhile, enjoyed the second-most valuable season of his career to date. While his ERA (3.24), strikeout (7.8 SO/9) and walk rates (3.1 BB/9) appeared to take a significant hit, he finished the year with 1.2 fWAR and a league-best 47 saves in 66 2/3 innings pitched. Like Odorizzi, he has several years of arbitration eligibility left on his contract and won’t reach free agency until 2021.

The Rays haven’t declared their intention to rebuild in 2018, but they don’t appear to have ruled it out, either. If they find suitable trade partners for Odorizzi and Colome, Topkin adds, that could indicate a willingness to give up bigger and better trade chips — with staff ace Chris Archer and veteran slugger Evan Longoria among them.

Jason Vargas fractured his non-pitching hand

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Mets left-hander Jason Vargas has a non-displaced fracture of the hamate bone in his right hand, the team announced Sunday. Vargas sustained the injury after taking a comebacker off of his hand on Friday and is expected to consult with a hand specialist later today as the team settles on a course of action. Comments from GM Sandy Alderson indicate that surgery is a possibility, though the left-hander may also pitch through it for the time being.

Vargas, 35, signed a two-year, $16 million pact with the team last month. He completed a four-year run with the Royals in 2017, earning his first career All-Star nomination with an 18-11 record in 32 starts and producing a 4.16 ERA, 2.9 BB/9 and 6.7 SO/9 over 179 2/3 innings. Prior to the incident, the southpaw was expected to help fill out the back end of the Mets’ Opening Day rotation.

Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News estimates that Vargas will likely miss the start of the season as he faces a two- to six-week recovery period. It’s a disappointing turn of events for a pitching staff that has been absolutely ravaged by injuries over the last couple of years.