Several Rays players have come up in trade rumors recently, with the team currently set to run a payroll well north of $100MM, far higher than the $70MM to $90MM range they have sat in for the past three seasons. Among those trade candidates are Tyler Glasnow, whose $25MM salary makes him far and away the highest-paid player on the roster, and Randy Arozarena and Isaac Paredes, each of whom is sure to earn a sizeable raise in arbitration this winter.
However, president of baseball operations Erik Neander threw some cold water on the rumors surrounding Arozarena and Paredes on Monday. While the Rays seem to be actively shopping Glasnow, the executive clarified that the team is merely listening to offers for the left fielder and third baseman (per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times). Fielding trade proposals is simply standard operating procedure and a matter of due diligence for an MLB front office, especially for a team like Tampa Bay that is often highly active on the trade market.
That doesn’t mean either player won’t be traded this offseason, but it’s a meaningful distinction nonetheless. Arozarena and Paredes are still an excellent value in their early years of arbitration, and the Rays aren’t desperate to get either one off the books.
More news from around MLB’s East divisions…
- Turning to the NL East, Alex Coffey of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the Phillies are planning to pick up a bullpen piece this offseason, and they’re also considering an outfield acquisition. It’s no surprise the Phillies are looking for another reliever, in light of Craig Kimbrel’s departure in free agency, but the note about an outfielder is slightly more revealing; after all, the three primary outfielders from the team’s 2023 postseason roster are all set to return in 2024. Indeed, with Nick Castellanos, Brandon Marsh, and Johan Rojas already on the roster, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski would only add another outfielder if he finds the “right fit” (as relayed by Coffey). Perhaps that means another impact bat to take over full-time duties in left field while Marsh platoons with Rojas in center.
- While the Nationals aren’t likely to contend in 2024, president of baseball operations Mike Rizzo is still planning to improve the on-field product. “I think we’re going to be aggressive again this year looking for a bat that can play the corner infield, be it third base or first base or DH or left field, or a combination of all three of those,” the executive told reporters during the Winter Meetings. “And then we’ll resort back to getting more pitching” (per Mark Zuckerman of MASN). Of particular interest, Rizzo also mentioned that the team is prepared to offer multi-year contracts “in the right situation,” which isn’t always common for teams in the middle of a rebuild. Over the previous three offseasons, the Nationals have only signed one free agent to a multi-year deal: Trevor Williams, who signed a two-year, $13MM deal last December.