MLB Rumors – Boston Red Sox, Cincinnati Reds & Tampa Bay Rays Still Trying to Trade Their Way Out of Bad Contracts

James Loney

Having a player you’re not happy with at this stage of spring training often means you’re stuck with him until later in the season, but the Tampa Bay Rays with James Loney; the Cincinnati Reds with Jay Bruce; and the Boston Red Sox with Ryan Hanigan are still trying to find buyers despite almost giving up.

The Reds and Bruce almost parted ways a couple of weeks ago when a three-team trade would have moved the rightfielder to the Toronto Blue Jays. But one of the minor leaguers involved didn’t pass the medical, which means Bruce, for now, is stuck on the Reds. He’ll make $12.5 million in 2016 wherever he ends up, although the Reds are still optimistic about moving him. The Baltimore Orioles have shown some interest, while Austin Jackson, the top free agent left on the market, is another option at outfield Baltimore are looking at.

A team that hasn’t been as busy as the Reds or Orioles this offseason but trying to move someone are the Rays. They’re kinda stuck with 31-year old Loney, who has batted quite well (.291 and a .730 OPS) in his three seasons with the Rays. But he makes $9.6 million in 2016, while the Rays have Steve Pearce and Logan Morrison at first base they prefer, while Corey Dickerson and Desmond Jennings stop him from taking the left field and designated hitter slots. The Rays aren’t finding buyers, but they are willing to eat up some of his salary if a team is willing to play ball.

The 35-year old Hanigan wasn’t too bad on the Red Sox last season compared to his hitting in the previous two seasons and he’s probably still better than Blake Swihart and Christian Vasquez. The Red Sox aren’t in too much of a hurry to move him onward, but they are looking for opportunities. Hanigan makes $3.7 million in 2016 and there’s a team option worth $3.75 million in 2017 with a $800k buyout. It’s unlikely he stays long enough for the Red Sox to not pick up the option.

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