The Rays want “massive returns” for their on-the-block starting pitchers – which, in Chris Archer’s case, could mean more than the White Sox received from Boston for Chris Sale – reports Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Archer, 28, hasn’t been as effective as Sale, though he does come with five controllable years at a combined $38.5MM (Sale has three years of control at $38MM). Given their asking price, odds are that the Rays won’t trade Archer, writes Topkin, who adds that fellow right-hander Jake Odorizzi is also unlikely to go anywhere. Tampa Bay isn’t as attached to Drew Smyly, Alex Cobb or Erasmo Ramirez, meaning any of the three could end up on the move in the right deal.
Now for the latest on a few players who aren’t under contract for 2017:
- The Indians weren’t able to reach an agreement to re-sign free agent first baseman/designated hitter Mike Napoli when they met Monday, but the two sides continue to maintain dialogue, team president Chris Antonetti told MLB Network Radio on Sunday (Twitter link). Cleveland is also in touch with other first base/DH types, though Antonetti didn’t specify which players are on the club’s radar. Reports over the past week have linked free agents Edwin Encarnacion, Mark Trumbo, Chris Carter and Adam Lind to the Tribe.
- The Pirates “are still engaged” with free agent right-hander Ivan Nova’s camp, general manager Neal Huntington said Sunday (Twitter link via Stephen J. Nesbitt of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette). There hasn’t been much chatter of late regarding Nova, who joined the Pirates in an Aug. 1 trade with the Yankees and subsequently posted a 3.06 ERA, 7.29 K/9 and .42 BB/9 in 64 2/3 innings to boost his stock entering free agency. The soon-to-be 30-year-old is arguably the best starter remaining in a thin class that has lost Rich Hill, Jeremy Hellickson and Bartolo Colon, among others, over the past few weeks.
- The idea of former Red Sox DH David Ortiz postponing his retirement is mostly wishful thinking, it seems. Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald informed MLB Network Radio on Sunday that Ortiz’s mind is made up there’s “zero chance” barring an unexpected change of heart from the 41-year-old Ortiz (Twitter link). Ortiz has already filed his retirement paperwork, Drellich points out, and the process of reversing course is both cumbersome and uncommon.