The four days of baseball's winter meetings turned out to be more talk than action for the Rays, but they headed back across Interstate 4 on Thursday confident there will be a payoff. Specifically, in terms of a first baseman, as executive vice president Andrew Friedman expects a resolution shortly. "In the next week, I feel very confident that we'll be able to figure something out," he said. "I think the conversations have kind of reached a point where I don't see them dragging on much longer than that time period. It's tough to say with an extremely high level of conviction, but I'd be surprised if it went past five, six, seven days." The Rays' top choice is re-signing free agent James Loney, and there were some suggestions Thursday of movement that way. But it will be for less than the three-year, $27 million deal Loney is reportedly seeking, and there is competition from the Pirates and Brewers. If Loney, 29, doesn't return, the Rays seem headed into the trade market, with Ike Davis (Mets), Mitch Moreland (Rangers) and Justin Smoak (Mariners) the top choices. The Brewers talked with the Mets on Thursday. Friedman wouldn't say if they were in control of the situation or waiting to hear back from an agent or team: "Just ongoing conversations." There was talk all week about potentially trading ace LHP David Price, though no status updates from Friedman. The Mariners and Dodgers have been most speculated on, with a chance other teams are involved. The Rays left last year's winter meetings and within days completed and announced the trade that sent RHP James Shields to the Royals for OF Wil Myers.
Rays expect quick resolution on first baseman
Tampa Bay Times | Dec 13