The St. Petersburg City Council rejected an agreement that would’ve allowed the Rays to explore sites for a new stadium within the greater St. Petersburg area, Stephen Nohlgren, Charlie Frago and Kameel Stanley of the Tampa Bay Times write. In a media release, Rays president Brian Auld said, “We are obviously disappointed. Our goal was to begin a collaborative, exploratory process in our region to determine the best location for a next generation ballpark. The council has instead decided that the status quo is what is in the best interest of the citizens of St. Petersburg.” Needless to say, this development will lead to renewed speculation about the Rays’ long-term future in the Tampa area, as owner Stuart Sternberg has threatened to sell the team rather than continue at Tropicana Field.
Here’s some more from the Rays…
- There’s no evidence the Rays are considering trading Evan Longoria, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman tweets. If Tampa was looking into a rebuild, it stands to reason that Longoria (by far the team’s highest-paid player) would be a trade chip.
- From that same tweet, Heyman also notes that Wil Myers “rebuffed [an] overture” from the Rays about a long-term deal. There were some whispers last spring that Tampa would look to extend Myers as the team has done with so many of its young stars. Of course, Myers’ time as a Ray is almost up as the young outfielder is on the verge of being dealt to San Diego.
- Even as far back as Myers’ Rookie of the Year season in 2013, the Rays had some doubts about whether the outfielder would become a consistent player, ESPN’s Buster Olney writes as part of his latest Insider-only column. Given these doubts, the Myers trade makes a lot of sense for the Rays as a sell-high move, Olney notes.