Joe Nelson Rumors

Rays DFA Joe Nelson

According to Marc Topkin of The St. Petersburg Times, the Rays have designated reliever Joe Nelson for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for the recently acquired Sean Rodriguez. GM Andrew Friedman said the move was made out of "respect" for Nelson after the team decided not to call him up this month, giving him a chance to catch on in another team.

Nelson, 34, had a 4.02 ERA in 40.1 IP for the Rays, but he put nearly three men on base every two innings. His performance in Triple-A was no better: 5.87 ERA, 1.89 WHIP in 15.1 IP.

Rays, Red Sox Talking Blockbusters With Tribe

4:33pm: Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports hear that the Rays may be shying away from a blockbuster deal. They're 5.0 games behind Boston in the Wild Card race, so their next two games against the Yankees could determine the team's direction.

If the Rays are discouraged after the Yankees series, they could make Dan Wheeler, Chad Bradford, Grant Balfour, Joe Nelson and Lance Cormier available, according to the FOX Sports source.

12:59pm: The Rays have shopped Scott Kazmir to the Mets and Rangers, according to Joel Sherman. The Rangers turned down an offer from the Rays and the Mets just had initial interest. The Rays would consider dealing Kazmir, Carlos Pena and even Carl Crawford to free up enough salary to make a blockbuster deal for Martinez and Lee.

The Rays still have interest in Halladay.

TUESDAY, 11:16am: Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has more dish on the idea of a team acquiring both Lee and V-Mart in a blockbuster trade.  The idea has been considered in Cleveland but is considered very unlikely due to the magnitude of prospects required.  While the Red Sox could technically pull it off, the Rays wouldn't have the payroll space.

MONDAY, 4:35pm: Ed Price of AOL FanHouse hears the Rays are still "in on" V-Mart and Lee. There's still a chance that they'll trade Scott Kazmir to the Angels, too.

1:35pm: The Rays and Red Sox are each discussing blockbuster deals with the Indians for both Cliff Lee and Victor Martinezaccording to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Here are the details and the rest of Sherman's rumors:

  • The Rays would deal Wade Davis, but the Red Sox are hesitant to deal Clay Buchholz.
  • The Phillies, Brewers and Rangers have interest in Lee and the Giants have interest in V-Mart.  
  • One executive is "1,000%" confident the Indians will move Lee and Martinez to free up money.
  • An AL executive says the Phillies will acquire Lee, Roy Halladay or Jarrod Washburn by Friday afternoon.
  • The Padres may be more willing to deal Heath Bell than expected. As one official says, Bell will be an expensive closer on a bad team if the Padres don't trade him.   
  • The Yankees have been interested in Bell, whose value is higher than ever. 

Bullpen Roundup: Who Should Rays Get; Is Rauch Out In Arizona?

While Tampa Bay is still reeling from another loss due to a faulty bullpen, R.J. Anderson of has some suggested additions to the beleaguered group.

  • Winston Abreu, currently dominating at Triple-A Durham, could simply be called up.
  • Jason Grilli, recently designated for assignment by the Rockies, could be had for nothing.
  • Joel Hanrahan, recently taken out of the closer's role by Washington, would require a trade.

Considering that Grant Balfour, Joe Nelson and Dan Wheeler all have ERAs of 5.50 or higher, some fresh arms in the Tampa Bay bullpen would certainly be welcome.

Meanwhile, a less-treasured member of a major-league bullpen is Jon Rauch, who had a closed-door meeting with manager A.J. Hinch after Saturday night's game.

Rauch is still only utilized in low-leverage situations, and it seems he's worn out his welcome in Arizona. But his ERA dropped from 9.31 in April to 3.46 in May, and he's pitched two scoreless innings so far in June.

Whether the Rays, desperately seeking saves, and Rauch, America's tallest reliever, get together remains to be seen. No smoke here yet, let alone fire, but this seems like a natural connection to make.

Odds & Ends: Smoltz, Cubs, Melky, Lima

Links for Monday…

Odds and Ends: Nelson, Quentin, Penny

Links for Tuesday…

Rays Sign Joe Nelson

4:18pm: Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times has a post up about the signing. He writes that Nelson gives the Rays another closer option, just in case Troy Percival isn’t ready to go following his back surgery.

Topkin, who states about 20 teams had interest in Nelson, adds the deal is pending a physical.

2:36pm: Right-handed reliever Joe Nelson has signed with the Tampa Bay Rays, Clark Spencer of The Miami Herald is reporting. It’s a one-year deal worth $1.3MM.

Nelson, 34, was with the Marlins last season.

Rays In Joe Nelson’s Top Five

According to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times, the Rays are among the top five choices of free agent reliever Joe Nelson.

Since being non-tendered by the Marlins, 19 teams inquired on Nelson.  Among them: the Rays, Indians, Royals, Cardinals, Red Sox, Braves, and Mets.  Nelson hopes to sign before Christmas.  The Indians are known to be in Nelson’s "fave four" and have made an offer.

Indians Offer Nelson A Contract

According to Branson Wright of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Indians have offered Joe Nelson a contract. The contract’s terms aren’t yet known.

Nelson’s agent confirmed that the righty is interested in playing for Cleveland, saying that the Indians are in his client’s "fave four" teams.

Nelson, whose ERA was 2.00 last year in 54 innings with the Marlins, has had 19 teams interested in him.

19 Teams Interested In Joe Nelson

There’s a good chance your favorite team has inquired on free agent reliever Joe’s Joe Frisaro learned that Nelson’s agent has received inquiries from 19 teams.  A few teams have topped a $1MM in their offer.  The known suitors: the Royals, Cardinals, Red Sox, Braves, Rays, and Mets.  Nelson is hoping to sign before Christmas.

On Friday, the Marlins made the thrifty decision to non-tender Nelson, a positive development for the 34 year-old reliever.  He hasn’t ruled out the Marlins, but a return doesn’t seem likely.

Odds and Ends: Wigginton, Andruw, Royals

Links and notes for Tuesday…