As they look to reduce payroll and perhaps rebuild this offseason, the Rays will be open to trading most of their high-paid players – including third baseman and franchise icon Evan Longoria – Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Longoria hasn’t yet reached 10-and-5 status, meaning he doesn’t have full no-trade rights, but the Rays would likely only deal him with his blessing, according to Topkin. The 32-year-old will rake in $13.5MM in 2018 and up to $94MM through 2023, depending on what happens with a club option in the final season of his deal. In addition to Longoria, right-handers Chris Archer and Jake Odorizzi, closer Alex Colome, catcher Wilson Ramos, outfielder Corey Dickerson, infielder Brad Miller and shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria stand out as potential trade candidates, Topkin observes. Colome seems particularly likely to go, Topkin suggests, and has already drawn reported interest from the Cardinals. He’s projected to earn $5.5MM in 2018, his first of three possible arbitration years.
More on Tampa Bay and two other AL clubs:
- While the Rays may spend the coming months subtracting veterans, there will probably be mutual interest between them and free agent first baseman Mike Napoli, per Topkin. The Florida native continued his power-hitting ways in Texas last season, swatting 29 home runs and posting a .235 ISO, but he still batted an ugly .193/.285/.428 across 485 plate appearances. As a 36-year-old coming off a career-worst campaign, he’ll be in the Rays’ price range.
- With the Rangers in desperate need of starters, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News lists several bargain free agents who might be worthy of their attention on the open market. Two of those players, Miguel Gonzalez and Miles Mikolas, bring past Rangers experience to the table. Recent Tommy John surgery recipient Michael Pineda, John Lackey and Jhoulys Chacin could also land on the club’s radar, Grant writes.
- Aside from switch-hitters Victor Martinez and Jeimer Candelario, the Tigers don’t have lefty-capable regulars on their roster at the moment. General manager Al Avila is looking to change that this winter. “We’re very right-handed, so left-handed anything — infield and outfield — would be very handy for us as far as somebody that could help at the Major League level in 2018,” Avila told Jason Beck of MLB.com and other reporters this week. Given that the Tigers are in rebuilding mode, any move(s) they make to balance their lineup will be small, Beck notes.