basketball 2 months ago

Report: Rays gaining traction in talks for Wilson; linked to Neshek

theScore — Bryan Mcwilliam

One day after the Tampa Bay Rays' bullpen coughed up two late-inning runs in a loss to the Los Angeles Angels, rumors surrounding the team's desire to acquire a pair of relievers have surfaced.

The Rays have expressed legit interest in Detroit Tigers left-hander Justin Wilson, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, who reports there is some traction in talks.

Tampa has also apparently been taking a look at Philadelphia Phillies right-hander Pat Neshek and Tony Watson of the Pittsburgh Pirates. The club was also reportedly in on Oakland southpaw Sean Doolittle before he was traded to the Washington Nationals, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.

While the Rays may be gaining some ground in talks with the Tigers about Wilson, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports the prospect price being sought in return for the closer is too high, and Tampa will look into myriad other relief options.

The Rays are apparently interested in "every reliever that has any slim chance or more of being available," according to a source of MLB.com's Mark Feinsand.

The 29-year-old Wilson is putting together a fantastic season after taking over as the Tigers' closer from Francisco Rodriguez. Across 37 appearances, he's posted a 2.29 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, and has amassed 10 saves, while striking out 12.7 hitters per nine.

He's also making the remainder of a supremely reasonable 2017 salary of $2.7 million.

Neshek, 36, was named to his second All-Star team earlier this season and has pitched to an impressive 1.21 ERA and 0.86 WHIP across 40 appearances. He's also only allowed two home runs during 37 1/3 innings.

Watson, 32, owns a 3.67 ERA and 10 saves for the Pirates, but has posted his lowest strikeout-per-nine-inning rate of his career (6.3), while his HR/9 is a career high of 1.5.

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