I was in the middle of pulling together a rather ho-hum Rays Rumors report when Jerry Crasnick broke the news that Matt Moore was signing a 5 year, $14M deal (which could go up to $40M with escalators). These rumors are still relevant and don't particularly change the landscape in Tampa, other than the team having signed its premier prospect and potentially giving itself leverage over teams in other starting pitcher discussions...
Checking in with Tampa, where the the latest rumors have the club listening skeptically (my characterization) to Cincinnati in talks about potentially moving James Shields for Yonder Alonso and/or Yasmani Grandal. The early feeling seems like this is a long shot:
Cincinnati Talking with Tampa about Shields? - cincinnati.com
"The Reds have had ongoing talks with the Tampa Bay Rays. The Reds are likely targeting right-hander James Shields, who went 16-12 with a 2.82 ERA last year. Yonder Alonso and Yasmani Grandal, the Reds’ two top trading chips, are fits for the Rays."
The Reds are talking to the Rays about James Shields | HardballTalk
"This is interesting inasmuch as the Rays have said that they’re not interested in dealing Shields. It’s possible, of course, that the talks might involve other Rays pitchers like Wade Davis or Jeff Niemann."
- Twitter / @Jon_Heyman - "#rays openminded about listening to requests, even on shields or hellickson. but of course, theyd expect LARGE returns"
- Twitter / @DKnobler - "Reds continue to pursue a starting pitcher, but no real progress yet. Top targets: Jair Jurrjens, and the guys from Rays."
Winter Meetings End; So Begins The Long, Slow Slog To Spring Training - DRaysBay
"I believe this is the first Winter Meetings in a number of year (four, maybe?) where the Rays haven't made any moves; they didn't even select any players in the Rule 5 draft. The biggest action from yesterday was that they lost two minor leaguers in the Rule 5: Gerardo Oliveras and Matt Sweeney. Holy cow, stop the presses!"
Should the Rays Pursue Morales or Trumbo? - DRaysBay
"This move (re: Pujols) most likely means that one of the existing first basemen will move to DH but the Angels already have Bobby Abreu there, creating an even bigger logjam for a non-position. This means that the Angels may be willing to listen to offers on either one of their former first basemen."
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