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.
Barring physicals and roster reshuffling, the Yankees and Reds are all but ready to finalize a deal involving right-hander Sonny Gray, Fancred’s Jon Heyman reported Saturday. The exact return has not been confirmed, but Heyman hears that the Yankees will receive top infield prospect Shed Long and a draft pick in exchange for Gray, with an as-yet unnamed third player possibly involved as well.
According to several reports earlier in the day, negotiations came down to the wire as the Yankees first had their eye on the Reds’ no. 6 prospect, 22-year-old catcher Tyler Stephenson. The Reds ultimately elected to hang on to Stephenson and send Long to New York, as they currently have a greater need for catching depth and weren’t expected to be able to provide a full-time role for the infielder in 2019. Long, 23, is ranked seventh in the Reds’ system and appears to be nearing his MLB debut after batting .261/.353/.412 with 12 homers and a .765 OPS across 522 PA at Double-A Pensacola last year.
Gray figures to step into a prominent role within the Reds’ rotation, which is likely to be a mix of recently-acquired left-hander Alex Wood and right-handers Tanner Roark, Luis Castillo, Anthony DeSclafani, and Tyler Mahle, among several others. Despite Gray’s struggle to remain productive on the mound — he’s three years removed from his only All-Star campaign and turned in a disappointing 4.90 ERA and 2.16 SO/BB rate in 2018 — he might yet help stabilize a team that trotted out the fifth-worst rotation in the majors last season. If, on the other hand, the veteran righty finds the hitter-friendly confines of Great American Ball Park a little too unforgiving this year, the Reds can take some comfort in the fact that he’s due to enter free agency in 2020.