Baseball fans are used to the usual BS offseason rumors. “Mystery teams” entering the mix on high-profile free agents. Teams attempting to swipe top names from their rivals. Classic smokescreen trade rumors that force everyone to look in the wrong direction. New York Yankees fans are probably more conditioned to handle the nonsense more than most.
But this? This is where we draw the line.
SNY’s Andy Martino “reported” on Tuesday afternoon that the Tampa Bay Rays have been in contact with Jacob deGrom’s representation. For what? Some pointers for their up-and-coming pitching staff? Some dinner recommendations for owner Stuart Sternberg on his hypothetical road trip to Daytona Beach? (deGrom is from DeLand, FL, weird, we know). Ways to recruit more fans from Central/East Florida?
Because it’s certainly not in regard to a free agent contract! OK, fine. Admittedly, the Rays are set up very nicely payroll-wise for the foreseeable future. Wander Franco is locked down for the long haul. They have Tyler Glasnow for two more years. Everyone is either entering their second or third year of arbitration eligibility, so money will be coming off the books.
Then again, this team just traded Ji-Man Choi and let Kevin Kiermaier go to free up money. They’ve reportedly expressed interest in Dominic Smith. They designated Ryan Yarbrough for assignment. Yandy Diaz and Randy Arozarena have been floated as trade candidates.
And that’s part of the grand plan to sign deGrom or another highly-coveted Mets free agent in Brandon Nimmo, who they’ve also been linked to? Come on.
Yankees fans are laughing at the Rays-Jacob deGrom-Brandon Nimmo rumors
It’s kind of like last year when the Rays were rumored to be pursuing Freddie Freeman. Untrue. Disingenuous. These bits of information exist for no other reason than to potentially derail the Yankees’ offseasons plans, as they were also linked to Freeman last year and deGrom this year (despite both being unlikely).
Until the Rays actually take a risk on any contract other than paying a generational 21-year-old (Wander Franco) $182 million that will look like pennies by the time he’s an MVP candidate, there’s no way to take these free agency “efforts” seriously.
How can insiders/reporters possess the nerve to even put this information out there? Think about the 17 Rays fans that are beyond teased by the prospect of their team trying to get better by spending money. Horrible stuff. Pray for them.
Anybody can be in contact with anybody in the age of information/technology. You can’t be left alone for 15 minutes in this life with cell phones and internet consuming us. Anybody can slip into anybody’s DMs.
Maybe that’s what the extent of the Rays/deGrom “talks” were? The Rays Twitter account sending a drunken “you up?” message after the intern had a few too many at Friday’s happy hour?