Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Rays are taking offers on right-hander Jake Odorizzi. The Orioles, Twins, Brewers, Cardinals, Yankees, Cubs and Angels are said to be involved in trade discussions, though no clear frontrunner has been named just yet.
Odorizzi, 27, is coming off of a down year with the Rays, one in which a bout of hamstring tightness and a back strain cost him just over a month on the disabled list. The righty produced a 10-8 record in 28 starts with a 4.14 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 143 1/3 innings. It’s not difficult to see his appeal, however: he’s only one season removed from the sub-4.00 ERA, 2.0+ fWAR numbers he posted in 2016 and is slated to remain under team control for another two years before hitting free agency in 2020.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times points out that Odorizzi still needs to complete the arbitration process with the Rays. He filed for $6.35 million last month and was met with a counteroffer of $6.05 million from the team. The two sides are scheduled to meet on Monday. Topkin adds that club owner Stuart Sternberg is still focused on reducing payroll this offseason, but isn’t likely to entertain offers for Odorizzi (or anyone else) unless the Rays are guaranteed prospects or organizational depth in the deal.
Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman might be headed to the disabled list soon, manager John Gibbons told reporters following Friday’s rain-shortened loss to the Yankees. The righty lasted just four innings on the mound before calling it a night, and gave up five runs, six hits and two walks in a performance that Gibbons claimed was at least partially affected by recurring blister issues on his right middle finger. Now, it looks like he might be removed from the rotation for some much-needed rest and rehabilitation; if so, it’ll be his second such stint this year.
Stroman, 27, has struggled to return the kind of winning record and sub-4.00 ERA that characterized his previous seasons with the club, mostly due to the combined seven weeks he missed with blisters on his throwing hand and chronic fatigue in his right shoulder. In a recent start against the Rays, things got even more gruesome when his blister appeared to start bleeding in the middle of his outing and MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm notes that the wound has constantly interfered with the right-hander’s pitch selection and delivery. When healthy, Stroman has managed a 4-8 record through 18 starts in 2018 with a career-worst 5.27 ERA, 3.2 BB/9 and 6.8 SO/9 in 100 2/3 innings. This will be the first year since 2015 in which he has not logged at least 200 innings in a single season.
While Stroman may not need an extended stay on the DL before he returns to the mound, it’s not clear what kind of timetable the Blue Jays expect for his recovery. He’s been the second-most valuable starter (behind the now-traded J.A. Happ) in a rotation that currently ranks 17th in the majors with a combined 4.90 ERA and 6.8 fWAR.