Hidden amongst the news yesterday that the Rays somehow picked up five (5!) players for a middle reliever* was the signing of Masahiro Tanaka by the Yankees. This is important because the teams that lost out on the bidding may turn their attention to David Price.
According to Jon Heyman, this list includes the Cubs, the White Sox, the Dodgers, Diamondbacks, and possibly the Astros. He also notes there may have been others.
For some teams, giving up $150 million is easier than giving up prospects, so we will see how serious any of the bidders will be. But at times in the past, both the Dodgers and Diamondbacks have been reported to have interest in Price.
* I know Alex Torres was great last year, but let’s face it, he is still a middle reliever. While the Rays have missed on free agents at other positions, the one area where they always seem to find cheap talent is the bullpen. Relievers are also notorious for having a very low rate of being able to repeat big seasons. More than any other position relievers are up and down and it is hard to predict.
Here are a few odds and ends…
- One MLB “executive” told the LA Times that he/she has “no doubt” the Rays will call the Dodgers about David Price now that the Tanaka sweepstakes are over. [LA Times]
- According to Zach Links, Jayson Nix can opt-out of his minor league deal with the Rays if he is not on the big league roster. That’s pretty standard. But what is unusual is that Nix can also opt-out of his contract on June 1st even if he is on the big league roster. Presumably, this would be if he wasn’t playing much and could find more playing time elsewhere. [@ZachLinks]
- Marc Topkin has more on the Alex Torres trade. [TampaBay.com]
- One interesting note about infielder Maxx Tissenbaum, who was one of the five players received in the Alex Torres trade. The Padres have been working him out behind the plate. Apparently there was no intention to become a full-time catcher, but that type of flexibility would be loved by Joe Maddon. [@FollowThePadres]
- More security is coming to The Trop. [TBO.com]
- Raymond has been nominated for “Most Awesome Mascot” award and he is the only baseball mascot among the nominees. [MLB.com]
- Jonny Gomes did a Q&A with the Boston Herald. [BostonHerald.com]
- The 1998 NFL Draft was rigged! Sort of. [BI Sports]