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Neander Hopeful Conversations Could Lead To Action

The Tampa Bay Rays came to the Winter Meetings in Nashville with 39 players on their Major League roster, and they will leave the meetings with the same 39 players, plus the addition of Chris Devenski.  And for president of baseball operations Erik Neander, that situation was wholly to be expected.

“There’s no deadlines, there’s no nothing, so this is what happens,” Neander said while meeting with reporters in the team’s suite.  “I think these events, they do serve as a catalyst for discussion.  There’s a lot of information exchange leading up to this week, and then those discussions either stall out or mature through this week, so all that’s going on.”

So while the Rays may not have made a move while here in Nashville,

”It has been active,” Neander admitted.  “The number of conversations just comparing it to a year ago, it’s night and day.”

But why does it take so long if there are teams calling about the availability of players like Tyler Glasnow, Randy Arozarena, or Isaac Paredes.

“You’re trying to line up each other’s needs.  That can take time,” Neander said.  “It can be complicated, but I think just the fact that there’s a lot of discussion going on, you’d like to think that could lead to something that’s mutually beneficial for two clubs.”

But there are always outside influences that can hold up other deals.  The fact that neither Shohei Ohtani nor Yoshinobu Yamamoto signed during the meetings means the team that might end up being shut out still have hope of landing one of the two biggest fishes in free agency.  That puts a crimp in any discussions the team could have about Glasnow.  The same can be said about a trade by the Padres of outfielder Juan Soto and how that might affect teams that could be interested in either Arozarena, Paredes, or even perhaps both.

But for now, the offseason rolls on.


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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