[Update 2:15pm] Marc Lancaster says he would be surprised if the Rays don’t make a deal by tomorrow for either Jason Hammel or Jeff Niemann.

[2:10pm] Troy Renck of the Denver Post is reporting that the Rays have spent the past week scouting Aneury Rodriguez, a double-A pitcher for the Rockies, who may end up being a key piece in a deal that would send Jason Hammel to the Rockies.

There is growing momentum for a trade to transpire between Tampa Bay and the Rockies involving right-hander Jason Hammels. The Rays heavily scouted the Rockies this past week, keeping a close eye on Double-A starter Aneury Rodriguez.

Earlier today, Fanhouse quoted a Rockies official that said talks with the Rays had resumed. The Rockies are targeting Jason Hammel and the official said a deal could be finalized by tomorrow.

Rodriguez is a 21-year old right-handed pitcher that made 27 starts for Modesto of the California league. He was 9-10 with a 3.74 ERA and an impressive 139-to-40 strikeout to walk ratio in 156.1 innings.

If the Rays do trade Hammel, Jeff Niemann would then become the Rays fifth starter to start the season and Lance Cormier would be the final relief pitcher.

Rays look at Rodriguez as they try to find trade fit [Denver Post]
Rockies, Rays Could Make Deal Soon [Fanhouse]



  1. Dirtbag Fan says:

    Think they'll give Niemann more than 1 bad start before demoting him this time?

    That's a tough position to be in- to be looking over your should every time you walk a batter or give up a HR wondering how soon King David (or Wade Davis (no nickname?)) will apear on the next flight from Durham...

    Should Niemann keep his bags packed?

    How many hours til it starts.... I can't wait any longer!

    • I would think, barring a total implosion, that whomever is the 5th starter will get 10-12 starts minimum. This is not an injury replacement scenario like last year. They should get a good shot to prove themselves.

  2. bobrittner says:

    Additionally, especially since they cannot send Niemann down without exposing him to a waiver claim, if they decide he is not succeeding as a starter, they most likely will move him to the bullpen. That seemed to be their intention at the beginning of spring training anyway.

    I think the reverse of your concern is true. If Niemann proves outstanding as a starter, he will make their preferred decision more difficult; if he falters, they will carry out their original plan of converting him to relief.

  3. Dirtbag Fan says:

    Good points, but i was being mostly facetious about them sending him down after 1 bad outing.

    The part about looking over his shoulder was really the meat of what I was getting at... that's gotta weigh on you (even if you know you'll only be headed to the 'pen if you "fail").

    • bobrittner says:

      Possibly, but I think he knows that both Price and Davis are ahead of him in the Rays' thinking, so I doubt there is any extra pressure any more. I also am guessing that the Rays are being very direct with him about their plans and expectations. They seem to have very open communication with most of their players and manage to reconcile them to the management's agenda.

      Of course, I don't know his mind set. And it may be that in an effort to prove that he can shine in the rotation he will be looking over his shoulder. On the other hand, it is equally possible that knowing their expectations (which the Rays expressed often and loudly at the start of the spring) it may relieve much of the pressure and allow him simply to air it out.


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