Rays name Baldelli field coordinator

Foley named special assistant, Nelson joins Double-A staff

Rays name Baldelli field coordinator

ST. PETERSBURG -- Rocco Baldelli has been promoted to the position of Major League field coordinator, finalizing manager Kevin Cash's Major League coaching staff for 2018.

In addition, Tom Foley was named special assistant, baseball operations and Jamie Nelson was named to the coaching staff for Double-A Montgomery.

Continue Reading

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2004. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cobb declines qualifying offer, hits free agency

Cobb declines qualifying offer, hits free agency

ST. PETERSBURG -- Alex Cobb has turned down the Rays' one-year qualifying offer of $17.4 million for the 2018 season, making the right-hander free to sign with another team as a free agent.

Cobb, 30, spent his first six Major League seasons with the Rays. He made 29 starts and went 12-10 with a 3.66 ERA and 128 strikeouts in 179 1/3 innings in 2017, his second year removed from Tommy John surgery.

Continue Reading

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2004. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bloom discusses Rays in Q&A session

Senior VP of baseball operations hoping to find right mix for 2018 postseason run

Bloom discusses Rays in Q&A session

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays' front office is in the midst of trying to piece together the 2018 team.

Chaim Bloom is right in the middle of the fray, hoping to find the right combination of players to put the Rays into the playoffs next season. Despite his busy schedule, the senior vice president of baseball operations managed to free up for a Q&A with MLB.com.

Continue Reading

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2004. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Rays trio rakes in AFL's regular-season finale

Rays trio rakes in AFL's regular-season finale

MESA, Ariz. -- While the Surprise Saguaros finished last in the Arizona Fall League's West Division, they ended the season on a high note. Led by a trio of Rays prospects who combined for seven hits and seven RBIs, Surprise routed the East Division champion Mesa Solar Sox, 10-4.

Catcher Brett Sullivan went 3-for-5, scoring a run and driving in two. Third baseman Kevin Padlo had two hits in five at-bats, scoring once and knocking in a team-high three runs. Second baseman Brandon Lowe had two extra-base hits in four trips to the plate, providing one run and two RBIs.

Continue Reading

Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Rays get Competitive Balance pick in 2018 Draft

Rays get Competitive Balance pick in 2018 Draft

With the conclusion of the 2017 regular season, the preliminary order for the 2018 Draft took some shape, thanks to the reverse order of the standings. The Tigers and Giants finished tied with the worst record in the Major Leagues last season, but Detroit was awarded the No. 1 pick in the 2018 Draft by virtue of having a lower winning percentage in 2016.

After the Tigers and Giants, the next eight picks go to the Phillies, White Sox, Reds, Mets, Padres, Braves, A's and Pirates.

Continue Reading

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays team up to build playground for kids

Club joined by hundreds of volunteers from Tampa Bay area

Rays team up to build playground for kids

Rays outfielder Mallex Smith joined hundreds of Tampa Bay community volunteers from Bank of America, University Area Community Development Corporation, Inc., and KaBOOM! on Friday to break ground on a new playground at University Area Harvest Hope Park to give local children, particularly those growing up in poverty, a safe place to play.

The playground is the eighth of its kind in the Tampa Bay area. Since 1996, KaBOOM! has prided itself on providing children with a life of balance and one that includes sufficient amounts of physical activity. The organization has built, opened or improved nearly 16,700 playgrounds in the United States and served approximately 8.5 million children around the country.

Continue Reading

Oliver Macklin is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter at @basebollie. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: How will Eovaldi impact Rays' rotation?

Beat reporter Bill Chastain answers fans' questions

Inbox: How will Eovaldi impact Rays' rotation?

What kind of impact do you think Nathan Eovaldi will have on the rotation next year?
-- Jeff C., Atlanta

It's tough to say exactly, because the rotation looks stuffed with capable starters. However, most would be surprised if Alex Cobb is back, and the Rays haven't tipped their hand about whether they plan to trade Chris Archer or Jake Odorizzi. While Eovaldi did not pitch in a Major League game last season, he said he's healthy and ready to go after Tommy John surgery. He's been a successful Major League pitcher in the past, so I believe there's a good chance we'll see him in the rotation at some juncture of the 2018 season.

Continue Reading

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2004. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Longoria wins 3rd career Gold Glove Award

Third baseman earns honor for 1st time since 2010; pitcher finalist Cobb falls short

Longoria wins 3rd career Gold Glove Award

ST. PETERSBURG -- Third baseman Evan Longoria claimed his third career Rawlings Gold Glove Award Tuesday night, while pitcher Alex Cobb, a finalist, came up empty.

2017 Gold Glove winners

Continue Reading

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2004. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays may enter market for starter, sluggers

Rays may enter market for starter, sluggers

ST. PETERSBURG -- Hot Stove season is never the most exciting time of the year for the Rays, who have a smaller budget to work with than most other teams.

That doesn't mean the Rays won't be able to find a player or two who can help them for the 2018 season. In the past, Tampa Bay has been particularly effective at finding free-agent relief help. And just before last season, the Rays signed free agent Logan Morrison to return to the team, and he put up big numbers.

Continue Reading

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays promote Benge to head athletic trainer

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays announced on Tuesday changes to their Major League medical training staff.

Joe Benge has been promoted to the position of head athletic trainer, replacing Ron Porterfield, who left the organization for another opportunity with the Dodgers.

Continue Reading

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Blue Jays claim Rays righty Guerrieri

Blue Jays claim Rays righty Guerrieri

ST. PETERSBURG -- Right-hander Taylor Guerrieri has been claimed off outright waivers by the Blue Jays.

The Rays also outrighted catcher Curt Casali, right-hander Shawn Tolleson and outfielder Cesar Puello off the 40-man roster, making them Minor League free agents and leaving the 40-man roster at 32.

Continue Reading

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Timmons promoted to Rays' first-base coach

Timmons promoted to Rays' first-base coach

ST. PETERSBURG -- Rays manager Kevin Cash finalized his coaching staff Friday when he announced that Ozzie Timmons will be the team's first-base coach.

"I'm excited for Ozzie to join our staff," Cash said. "He has a track record of connecting with hitters and providing high-quality coaching throughout his career. We're looking forward to him complementing our staff with those skills and many others. His primary duties will be coaching first base, providing baserunning instruction and assisting our hitters alongside [hitting coach] Chad Mottola."

Continue Reading

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fall Stars wrap: How top prospects performed

Fall Stars wrap: How top prospects performed

Below is a recap of each player's performance from the 12th edition of the Arizona Fall League's Fall Stars Game at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale, a 4-2 win for the East division.

Among the highly regarded players in this year's exhibition were 10 players on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list.

Continue Reading

Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB.

Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays must address 1B, 'pen in Hot Stove season

Rays must address 1B, 'pen in Hot Stove season

ST. PETESRBURG -- By finishing two games under .500, the Rays showed improvement in 2017, but they still fell well short of the expectations for a playoff-contending team. Now Tampa Bay's front office must address what needs to be done to patch the leaks in the rowboat.

If the 2018 season were to start today, the Rays would be strong up the middle with solid starting pitching and a deep bullpen. But as anybody who follows the Hot Stove knows, a roster can change dramatically from one season to the next.

Continue Reading

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays pick up Eovaldi's club option for 2018

Righty among 4 players activated from 60-day DL; 8 enter free agency

Rays pick up Eovaldi's club option for 2018

ST. PETERSBURG -- Eight free agents came off the Rays' 40 man roster on Thursday, four players were activated from the 60-day disabled list and the club picked up right-hander Nathan Eovaldi's club option for 2018.

Tampa Bay's 40-man roster now stands at 36.

Continue Reading

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays' Arizona Fall League overview

Lowe focusing on approach, handling upper-level pitching

Rays' Arizona Fall League overview

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Brandon Lowe watched his stock rise this year as he was one of the best hitters in the Florida State League for the bulk of the season.

The Rays' No. 13 prospect hit .311 over 90 games with Class A Advanced Charlotte. However, after a late-season promotion to Double-A Montgomery, Lowe watched his average dip as he hit just .253 over 24 games.

Continue Reading

William Boor is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Quatraro returns to Rays as third-base coach

Quatraro returns to Rays as third-base coach

ST. PETERSBURG -- Matt Quatraro is the Rays' lastest addition to the coaching staff in a season of turnover, as the team announced him as their new third-base coach Tuesday morning.

Gone from the Rays is pitching coach Jim Hickey, who is rumored to be going to the Cubs. Catching/hitting coach Jaime Nelson and bench coach Tom Foley will assume other duties within the organization.

Continue Reading

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hillsborough Co. issues proposed stadium site

Officials announce Channel district/Ybor City area as potential location

ST. PETERSBURG -- Hillsborough County officials have decided on where a new ballpark would be located if the Rays are to make Tampa their new home, and the landing spot is in the Channel district/Ybor City area.

As reported by WFLA Channel 8, Hillsborough County commissioner Ken Hagan announced the potential site for a new Rays ballpark on Tuesday. The location is bordered by Fourth Avenue and Adamo Drive to the north and south and 15th Street and Channelside Drive to the east and west.

Continue Reading

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2004. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: How will Rays shop this offseason?

Beat reporter Bill Chastain answers Rays fans' questions

Inbox: How will Rays shop this offseason?

Do you think they will shop [Steven] Souza, [Alex] Colome, [Matt] Duffy, [Adeiny] Hechavarria, [Kevin Kiermaier] and [Xavier] Cedeno to save money? But more importantly, to try and snag All-Star caliber prospects? We've already held on to [Evan] Longoria too long for him to retire a Ray. I feel like [Jake] Odorizzi could have been the [Shelby] Miller deal and we'd have [Dansby] Swanson and [Ender] Inciarte.
--Kevin D., Carterville, IL

From observing this management team over the years, I know it is looking for the best bang for its buck, and has to operate in said fashion given its financial constraints. I believe Rays officials are like the old salesman who maintains, "Everything I've got is for sale." The bottom line is, what are potential buyers willing to spend? I believe the Rays will listen to deals about any player in their organization -- year-round, but they never feel any pressure to make deals. While deals for prospects often yield future Major Leaguers, they are often risky, because prospects -- no matter how successful they've been at the Minor League level -- are still prospects until proven otherwise.

Continue Reading

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2004. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays' spring slate highlighted by division tilts

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays will begin their 2018 home Spring Training schedule against the Pirates on Feb. 23 in a 1:05 p.m. ET contest at Charlotte Sports Park.

The team announced its full 2018 Spring Training home schedule on Monday, which includes 14 home dates.

Continue Reading

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

After debut, Mercado makes waves at instructs

After debut, Mercado makes waves at instructs

The Tampa Bay Rays are renowned for their ability to develop young, projectable pitching prospects. So when the organization expresses the level of excitement that it currently does regarding 2017 second-round Draft pick Michael Mercado, it's a reason to take notice.

"He had a great first year," Rays Director of Minor League Operations Mitch Lukevics said about Mercado, the club's No. 15 prospect. "Michael's really tall and lanky with a good delivery and pinpoint control at a young age. It's impressive stuff that will only get better as he matures."

Continue Reading

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays visit Puerto Rico, provide hurricane aid

Club delivers much-needed supplies to island in need

Rays visit Puerto Rico, provide hurricane aid

TAMPA, Fla. -- Puerto Rico needed relief.

So Tampa Bay called upon its bullpen and delivered a save that was too big for any box score.

Continue Reading

J. Scott Butherus is a contributor to MLB,com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

McKay working as position player at instructs

McKay working as position player at instructs

The Tampa Bay Rays made it clear that Brendan McKay, arguably the best two-way Draft prospect since Dave Winfield in 1973, would play both ways in his professional debut after signing with the organization for $7,007,500 as the No. 4 overall pick.

That's what McKay, ranked No. 3 on the Rays Top 30 and No. 19 overall, did during his time with Class A Short Season Hudson Valley this summer, appearing in 36 games as a positional player (or as a designated hitter) and making six regular-season starts on the mound.

Continue Reading

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Will LoMo be back with Rays in 2018?

Beat reporter Bill Chastain opens the Inbox to answer fans' questions

Inbox: Will LoMo be back with Rays in 2018?

Do you think the Rays can sign Logan Morrison this offseason? He is a good power hitter and first basemen. I feel we need him to get to the postseason in 2018.
-- Joann C., Bellari, Fla.

Lo-Mo had a nice bounce-back season after a disappointing 2016. Prior to the 2017 season, the Rays were able to sign him for another year due to the way the free-agent market played out. I think that will be the case again this year. If the market plays out to where he does not get much interest, he could return. But based on what he did this season, and the fact he is a really good teammate, I think the idea of him returning is a longshot. But I've seen stranger things happen. I do believe the Rays will want a veteran first baseman to be with the team in the event Jake Bauers struggles. Will that first baseman be Morrison? We will have to wait and see.

Continue Reading

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pitching at top of mind for Rays this offseason

Expect Archer's name to crop up in trade rumors again

Pitching at top of mind for Rays this offseason

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays failed to reach the postseason for the fourth consecutive season in 2017. But mixed with that disappointment, the club has a lot to be excited about going forward.

The Rays should have a strong influx of players coming up from the farm system. How they envision that group of players fitting in will affect what the front office does when piecing together the 2018 squad.

Continue Reading

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2004. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Honeywell, Sanchez named top prospects

Honeywell, Sanchez named top prospects

ST. PETERSBURG -- Brent Honeywell and Jesus Sanchez have been named the Rays Prospects of the Year by MLB Pipeline.

Honeywell, 22, is ranked No. 1 on the Rays' Top 30 Prospects list and No. 11 overall. The right-hander has a full arsenal that includes a fastball, slider, changeup and screwball.

Continue Reading

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2004. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays make assortment of coaching changes

Snyder to replace Hickey as pitching coach in 2018

Rays make assortment of coaching changes

ST. PETERSBURG -- Change was in the air Tuesday when the Rays announced that pitching coach Jim Hickey is leaving the organization and bench coach Tom Foley will move to a new position with the club. In addition, Major League coach Jamie Nelson will not return to the staff, but a new role for him within the organization is being explored.

Third-base coach Charlie Montoyo will assume the role of bench coach in 2018, while Triple-A Durham pitching coach Kyle Snyder will be promoted to Major League pitching coach.

Continue Reading

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2004. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays disappointed, but have strong foundation

Tampa Bay will head into 2018 with solid pitching, handful of rising prospects

Rays disappointed, but have strong foundation

ST. PETERSBURG -- Yes, the Rays ended the 2017 season on a high note, but no, the Rays do not deem 80 wins acceptable.

"If we begin to start accepting 80 [wins] or something that's not good enough, I don't know where we're going," Kevin Cash said.

Continue Reading

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2004. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rays fall short in 2017 despite improvements

Rays fall short in 2017 despite improvements

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays were contenders for most of the 2017 season. Unfortunately, the ending didn't match the midseason optimism created by this year's squad.

Finding themselves at seven games above .500 (51-44) and two games out of first place in the American League East on July 18, the Rays had reason to believe they could reach the postseason if they continued their steady ascent.

Continue Reading

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2004. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Casali, Snell power Rays in finale shutout of O's

Casali, Snell power Rays in finale shutout of O's

ST. PETERSBURG -- Blake Snell gave the Rays a quality start and the offense put away the game late as the Rays ended the season on a high note, defeating the Orioles, 6-0, Sunday afternoon at Tropicana Field.

The win completed the Rays' three-game weekend sweep, giving the team a third-place finish in the American League East with an 80-82 record, which matched Kevin Cash's best season as the team's manager. The Orioles finished at 75-87, losing 19 of their last 23 to end the season in last place in the AL East for the first time since 2011.

Continue Reading

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2004.

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.