Rays GM Matthew Silverman says that he remains confident in his club despite its recent slide, and indicated that he does not see the need for significant deadline additions, as Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. “If we’re a healthy team there isn’t a glaring need for us at the deadline,” said Silverman.
- The Rays expect to welcome back both outfielder Desmond Jennings and lefty Drew Smyly in August, Silverman added. While the former has been expected to return this year, it was not at all clear that Smyly would do so. Per a Topkin tweet, there is some chance that the labrum tear identified in Smyly’s pitching shoulder is an old injury, and the team is reasonably optimistic of getting him back in 2015.
- Among the teams watching Johnny Cueto throw yesterday were three AL East clubs — the Yankees, Orioles, and Blue Jays — per a tweet from Joel Sherman of the New York Post. All three line up as possible acquirers of pitchers, of course, so it’s not at all surprising to hear that they would be interested in taking a look at the prized righty (as, no doubt, are plenty of other teams). Who’ll land Cueto remains a hot topic; be sure to check out MLBTR’s Instagram post on just that topic.
- Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos continues to publicly address his teams’ needs with some regularity, this time in an appearance on Sportsnet 590 The Fan (via Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca; Twitter links). Anthopoulos certainly did not leave the impression that he is plotting a run at Cueto, saying that the market for pure rental players is “the last aisle that I’d want to shop in.” Rather than going after a single player, it seems, Toronto is exploring a number of possible options. “Anybody that’s going to be out there in trades, we’re going to have interest in,” he said.
- Mike Napoli increasingly looks like an odd man out with the Red Sox, but it’s far too soon to tell where things are headed. Tim Britton of the Providence Journal writes that the first baseman has already lost time with the team playing David Ortiz and rookie Travis Shaw at first, while colleague Brian MacPherson explains the appeal of utilizing Ortiz at first in order to slot Hanley Ramirez as the DH. Manager John Farrell says that he is “not turning from” Napoli, as WEEI.com’s Justin Pallenik reports. And Ortiz himself hardly seems interested in anything more than spot duty in the infield, as Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports. While it remains at least theoretically possible that Boston could look to move Napoli, his $16MM annual salary and lack of an obvious replacement make that a complicated proposition.