In a series of analytical pieces, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times checks in on the Rays’ offseason in advance of the Winter Meetings. He explains that the club seems to have been slowed, in particular, by the as-yet-unresolved Giancarlo Stanton and Shohei Ohtani situations. Topkin also analyzes the team’s options for dealing a starter, explaining that the team’s history suggests it’s quite likely that at least one arm will be on the move. He pegs Chris Archer and Jake Odorizzi as the likeliest candidates to be dealt. He goes on to discuss the potential for a deal involving third baseman Evan Longoria, who’ll attain full no-trade rights early in the 2018 season, though it’s important to note that there is no clear indication as of yet that he’s on the block.
Here are a few more notes on a slow-moving market for players that has only just begun to show signs of thawing:
- The Angels are still keeping an eye on the market for corner infielders, Jon Morosi of MLB Network tweets, even as they continue to direct their immediate attention to Otani. Landing the Japanese star would presumably impact the organization’s plans regarding adding hitters, since he’d occupy some at-bats and perhaps force Albert Pujols to spend more time at first base — thus reducing the need for another corner option, particularly with C.J. Cron having been tendered a contract. Still, Carlos Santana remains an option, per the report. It’s worth noting, too, that Pujols is said to be trimming up and leaving the team with some optimism of a bounceback, Jeff Fletcher of the Southern California News Group tweets.
- As the Cubs look to bolster their late-inning mix after non-tendering Hector Rondon, they have made contact with Brandon Kintzler’s representatives, according to Morosi (via Twitter). The veteran groundball specialist might conceivably add a new element to the Chicago pen, though Morosi cautions talks have not advanced very far at this point. Kintzler has drawn fairly wide interest after a strong campaign with the Twins and Nationals, over which he turned in 71 1/3 innings of 3.03 ERA pitching.
- Right-hander Neftali Feliz is hoping to show he’s healthy and throwing well in a bid to earn a bounceback opportunity, per a report from Chris Cotillo of SB Nation (Twitter link). The 29-year-old, who caught on with the Royals after being cut loose by the Brewers in the middle of the 2017 season, went in for a checkup from Dr. James Andrews but was reportedly cleared of any arm issues. He’s also set to hold an audition for an unnamed team today. Despite his rough results in his 46 innings in the most recent campaign — a 5.48 ERA with 7.2 K/9 and 4.5 BB/9 — Feliz showed a typically strong 96.5 mph fastball and 11.6% swinging-strike rate that matches his career average.