Recent reports had indicated that Tampa Bay closer Al Reyes was off the market. Maybe those were false, or maybe the Dan Wheeler acquisition has increased the Rays’ willingness to listen. At any rate, interest is growing in Reyes.
Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times notes the Mariners’ interest; they had two scouts at Tropicana Field yesterday. Reyes did not pitch, however. One of those scouts was Norm Charlton on a special assignment. Topkin seems to imply that the Rays would want young catcher Jeff Clement in return for Reyes. He also alludes to the Mets’ interest but believes a three-team deal could be necessary to get the Rays what they want.
From the start of the season through June 17th, Reyes was a revelation for the Devil Rays. During that time period Reyes had a 2.17 ERA, 10.9 K/9, and 2.5 BB/9 with 16 saves in 29 innings. But since then Reyes has allowed 12 earned runs in nine innings, all of them coming from three separate four-run blowups. He gave up four home runs during the span. That time period also included a couple of weeks off for a rotation cuff strain, so there’s a definite correlation with his performance.
To give up a player like Clement for a reliever as shaky as Reyes would be a very questionable move. The idea that the Rays could get him is pure speculation on my part. As I mentioned earlier, expanding the trade to include Carlos Pena could really sweeten the deal for Seattle.
By the way, the Devil Rays hold a club option on Reyes for 2008 that tops out at $2.25MM.