The only bit of fireworks coming from the Tampa Bay Rays to start the 2023 Winter Meetings came from an unexpected direction: a birthday surprise.
The team surprised senior advisor Mitch Lukevics belatedly for his 70th birthday as part of their introductory meeting Monday at the Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, but were quite when it came to player movement of any kind.
“[We] made some calls through the day,” president of baseball operations Erik Neander said. “Some agent conversations, some team conversations, but nothing terribly notable.”
Neander did admit that there has been more dialogue both ways involving the team this year compared to last year’s meetings in San Diego, but said the team’s goal last year at the Winter Meetings was to complete the deal to sign pitcher Zach Eflin.
“What ultimately does that mean and where does it take us? I don’t know,” Neander said. “We don’t have to do anything, but it puts us in a position where we can be active listeners and decide if anything’s best for us, both next year and beyond.”