The past two weeks have been among the most eventful in franchise history as the Rays traded away three core players, added a significant free agent, news broke of a huge TV deal, and now the MLBPA has filed a grievance against the Rays and a couple of other teams for how they have spent their revenue sharing funds.
The move by the MLBPA continues an off-season of tension between the players and teams in which several high end free agents are still jobless and many others have struggled to find homes on the market.
Rays principal owner, Stuart Sternberg, was in camp yesterday and addressed the media prior to the game on a myriad of the team issues, with the MLBPA grievance being the primary topic of discussion.
“Whatever it is anybody here in this group is thinking, I think it’s more. I’m a high man”
As for the, on the field Rays, the team lost to Baltimore Orioles, 2-1, in Port Charlotte.
Nate Eovladi made his first spring appearance since 2016 as he is nearing his return from Tommy John surgery. His appearance was flawless as he threw 14 pitches (11 strikes), recording four outs (two strikeouts). His fastball was registering in the high 90’s, topping out at 98.
It was a quiet day offensively for the Rays, with their lone run coming in the first inning, thanks to back-to-back hits from Denard Span and Kevin Kiermaier, the latter of whom would come around to score on a double play ball from Christian Arroyo. Matt Duffy was originally slated to start, but was scratched due to back tightness.
Today the Rays will take on the Minnesota Twins in Fort Myers at 1:05 with Ryan Yarbrough starting. He’ll be followed by Yonny Chirinos, Vidal Nuno, Chaz Roe, and Jose Mujica.
The game won’t be televised, but can be listened to on MLB.com as the Minnesota Twins radio team will carry the game
Other Rays Info
- Speaking of Neil Solondz, he continued his series that highlights an individual player from camp daily. Yesterday, he got with RHP Forrest Snow, a non-roster invite who is vying for the Rays bullpen.
- The Ray Tank published their photo gallery from yesterday’s action with the shots taken by Will Vragovic and Kevin Sabitus
- Does the Union have an actual case to make against the Rays spending habits?
- Matt Duffy, finally healthy, is eager to return to a major league field in a regular season game..if only, just to prove that he actually exists
- The Rays are doing away with the Cuesta-Ray Cigar Bar in center field this season, but there are plans for whenever the Rays build their new stadium to include the bar somewhere in the facility
Around the League
- Roger Mooney was at the IMG Academy where several free agents are working out, hopeful to receive an opportunity with any team
- Tim Lincecum managed to find a major league deal following his showcase, as he has signed with the Texas Rangers
- Mike Napoli signed a minor league deal with the Cleveland Indians
- Forrest Whitely, one of the top pitching prospects in baseball, has issued a statement following his 50 game suspension
Rays Frivolous Tidbits
- Former Ray, Jeff Niemann, turns 35 years old today. The team’s 1st round selection in the 2004 draft, pitched in the majors from 2008 to 2012. When he was healthy, he could be a very solid, middle of the rotation starter, but injuries took their tolls on the tall RHP and ultimately ended his career following the 2012 season.