MLB Rumors: Rays Put Longoria On Trade Block, Otani Wants To Both Hit And Pitch & More

The MLB offseason is just starting to hit a fever pitch following the league's owner meetings, which is where much of the foundation for offseason trades and other acquisitions take place. As such, the rumor mill is buzzing with manger changes and trade talks, especially around the future of Giancarlo Stanton and some other marquee free agents. Here are all the latest MLB rumors you need to know.

Rays put Evan Longoria on trade block
The Tampa Bay Rays routinely have one of the smallest payrolls in all of baseball, and after missing the playoffs for the fourth straight season, they are looking to shed some of their highest-paid players. Pitcher Chris Archer has been on the trade block for over a year, and Tampa has now made third baseman Evan Longoria - the face of the franchise - available, according to Marc Tomkin of the Tampa Bay Times.

After collecting intelligence at last week’s GM meetings, the Rays soon will launch their offseason mission of trading at least a couple of veterans to reduce payroll.

The question is how far they will go — how many players they deal, and how big of names they are, with everyone in play on down from face-of-the-franchise 3B Evan Longoria.

Longoria, who has spent his entire 10-year career with the Rays, hit .261 with 20 home runs and 86 RBIs in 156 games last season.

Orioles interested in Alex Cobb
Speaking of the Rays, they are letting starting pitcher Alex Cobb walk in free agency due to the price it will cost to re-sign him. A number of teams have expressed interest in him and the Baltimore Orioles appear ready to make a hard run after him, according to MLB Network's Jon Morosi.

Cobb, who has expressed interest in signing with the Chicago Cubs, went 12-10 with a 3.66 ERA and 128 strikeouts in 29 starts last season.

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Shohei Otani wants to both hit and pitch in MLB
Scouts believe that Japanese star Shohei Otani, who plans to make the transition to the MLB this offseason, will be a star as either an everyday position player or as a pitcher, but the 23-year-old doesn't want to pick one or the other. According to his agent, Otani wants to both pitch and be in the everyday batting lineup.

Otani is 41-15 with a 2.56 ERA in his career as a pitcher in Japan, but also has a .332/.403/.540 batting line with eight home runs and 35 RBIs in 65 games this season despite being limited with foot injuries.

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Related Topics: Shohei Otani, Alex Cobb, MLB Rumors Roundup, Rays Rumors, Orioles Rumors, MLB Rumors, Evan Longoria