[4:08pm] And of course now we get Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports saying (via Twitter) that if a Milton Bradley deal is close, it is not to the Rays.
[3:02pm] Now that the deal for Soriano looks finalized, we can get back to the endless rumormongering about Milton Bradley. And Bob Nightengale doesn’t waste any time, saying (via Twitter) the Cubs “are close to trading” Bradley. Nightengale says that “all indications” are that he will be traded to the Rays. We are pretty sure we have heard this report everyday this week.
[12:53pm] There was a report that Soriano’s deal is non-guaranteed. That is not correct. It is guaranteed. Had Soriano gone to arbitration the contract would have been non-guaranteed as are all contracts for free agents that accept (and go to) arbitration.
[12:09pm] Ken Rosenthal says (via Twitter) the Rays and Rafael Soriano have agreed to a one-year deal for about $7 million. Teams now have to review players’ medical records before signing off on the deal.
[11:22am] And here comes the news that we were expecting. Ken Rosenthal says (via Twitter) the Rays and Rafael Soriano are negotiating a 1-year deal and that the trade is not official until a new deal is agreed upon. Also, we would not be surprised if the Rays insist that Soriano agree in the contract to decline arbitration next winter if it is offered.
[9:50am] Marc Topkin reports that the Rays have traded Armando Zerpa to the Dodgers for cash. The Rays did lose Mike Wlodarczyk in the triple-A phase of the Rule 5 draft, but did not lose Aneury Rodriguez. An update to Topkin’s post shows that the Rays also lost Douglas Salinas to the Reds in the double-A phase but picked up RHP Miguel Sierra from the White Sox in the triple-A phase.
[9:25am] The Rays have selected Armando Zerpa a left-handed pitcher from the Red Sox in the Rule 5 draft. Zerpa, 22, made 38 appearances between single-A and high single-A with a 2.68 ERA. He had 78 strikeouts and 35 walks in 74 innings.
[9:14am] Carrie Muskat says (via Twitter) the Cubs are desparate to trade Milton Bradley, but the Rays feel no obligation to take him. One Rays employee said the team actually prefers one year of Pat Burrell over two years of Milton Bradley. This is actually one of several non-attitude reasons we have always leaned against this deal.
[8:00am] Yesterday was a wild one for Rays rumors. At one point, within minutes of each other, we read a report that there were no “mystery teams” trying to trade for Milton Bradley, and that the Rays were still the favorite, while a second report said there were two mystery teams and that neither was the Rays. We also finally heard of a team expressing interest in Dioner Navarro (the Rangers).
But the biggest news of course was that the Rays are close to a deal for closer Rafael Soriano. We heard that the Rays were one of two teams interested, the frontrunner, not the frontrunner and only one of six teams interested and balking at the price. We heard that Andrew Friedman and Frank Wren (Braves GM) rode an elevator together and walked to dinner together, before we finally heard the good news from Marc Topkin late last night.
Now let’s look at what came through late last night and this morning so far. We will update this post throughout the day with the latest buzz, so check back early and often. And if you really want the fresh scoops, be sure to follow us on Twitter.
- Today is the Rule 5 draft at 9am eastern time. The Rays have the 16th pick.
- Jayson Stark says the Rays are one of two teams on Roy Halladay’s “maybe” list of teams for whom he would approve a trade (there are 4 teams on the “yes” list). Stark adds that the Rays are “off-the-charts long shots,” and that they are on the list only because of geography…Well at least the Rays have geography going for them.
- John Manuel of Baseball America lists Aneury Rodriguez, a Rays prospect, as one of the names that “have popped up,” in connection to the Rule 5 draft. Manuel calls Rodriguez a starter that could be stashed as a reliever on somebody’s roster.
- Richard Durrett of ESPN.com says he “keeps hearing” Dioner Navarro’s name in connection with the Rangers.
- The Red Sox waiver claim on Ramon Ramirez became official yesterday.