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A Quiet First Day For Rays At Winter Meetings

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.

Because of how young players like Curtis Mead and Junior Caminero came up to the big leagues and contributed, the team is able to listen, but listening is a far cry from acting.

“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.”


Written By

Steve Carney is the founder and publisher of St. Pete Nine. One of the people most associated with baseball coverage in Tampa Bay, he spent 13 seasons covering the Rays for flagship radio station WDAE, first as producer of Rays Radio broadcasts, then as beat reporter beginning in 2011. He likes new analytics and aged bourbon, and is the owner of one of the ugliest knuckleballs ever witnessed by baseball scouts.

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