The Rays are pushing their spring training workouts back an hour

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Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Tampa Bay Rays will be moving their spring training workouts back an hour, starting at 10:30 AM instead of 9:30 AM. The reason: sleep studies which, presumably, show that players are at their best a bit later in the morning.

Before you scoff at the idea of 9:30 being too early, known that that is merely the time when players are in uniform and assembled on the grass for workouts. They report to the clubhouse way, way earlier than that. Many of them work with the training staff to deal with injuries and things. Others have personal workouts scheduled then. Many hit the batting cages independently during this time. There are meetings too, and media availabilities and all manner of other responsibilities. Most players are at the park before you’re at work in the morning.

The players aren’t the only ones who may benefit from this. The press will love it. Baseball beat writers tend to be night owls, as they spend most of the year working from between 4pm and midnight covering games. In the spring they have to force themselves into early schedules for a month and a half and then snap back to normalcy. Based on what I’ve seen on Twitter so far this morning, each and every one of them is gonna start lobbying the team they cover to push their workouts back too.

Bogaerts reportedly heading to the Padres for 11 years, $280 million

xander bogaerts
Paul Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports
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SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Padres and Xander Bogaerts agreed to a blockbuster $280 million, 11-year contract Wednesday night, adding the All-Star slugger to an already deep lineup.

A person familiar with the negotiations confirmed the contract to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because it was pending a physical.

The Padres already had Fernando Tatis Jr. at shortstop, but he missed the entire season because of injuries and an 80-game suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.

San Diego also met with Aaron Judge and Trea Turner before the big stars opted for different teams. The Padres reached the NL Championship Series this year before losing to the Phillies.

“From our standpoint, you want to explore and make sure we’re looking at every possible opportunity to get better,” general manager A.J. Preller said before the Bogaerts deal surfaced. “We’ve got a real desire to win and do it for a long time.”

The 30-year-old Bogaerts was one of the headliners in a stellar group of free-agent shortstops that also included Turner, Carlos Correa and Dansby Swanson.

Bogaerts, who’s from Aruba, terminated his $120 million, six-year contract with Boston after the season. The four-time All-Star forfeited salaries of $20 million for each of the next three years after hitting .307 with 15 homers and 73 RBIs in 150 games.

Bogaerts is a .292 hitter with 156 homers and 683 RBIs in 10 big league seasons – all with Boston. He helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2013 and 2018.

Bogaerts becomes the latest veteran hitter to depart Boston after the Red Sox traded Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers in February 2020. Rafael Devers has one more year of arbitration eligibility before he can hit the market.

Bogaerts had his best big league season in 2019, batting .309 with a career-best 33 homers and 117 RBIs. He had 23 homers and 103 RBIs in 2018.

In 44 postseason games, Bogaerts is a .231 hitter with five homers and 16 RBIs.