8/1/2014 8:14 P.M. ET
Zobrist survives Deadline despite rumors
By Bill Chastain and Adam Berry / MLB.com
ST. PETERSBURG -- Ben Zobrist knew his name would come up in trade rumors but didn't want to let it weigh on him. If you need further evidence, consider that he was taking a nap during the height of Thursday's pre-Trade Deadline activity.
After taking his son, Zion, to an early morning dentist appointment, Zobrist crashed during the afternoon. While he was sleeping, Rays ace David Price was traded, and a bogus Twitter post that he'd been traded picked up some steam, even being broadcast on ESPN.
When Zobrist woke up, he saw some texts from his wife, Julianna, who was flying back from Los Angeles. She was asking if he had indeed been dealt to the Pirates.
"I started looking around on the Internet to see if I could see anything. At that point, everything had already been taken off," Zobrist said. "When it happened, I was really unaware of all of it going down."
Also in his inbox? Emails from people asking for tickets in Pittsburgh.
But the Rays held on to Zobrist, despite several weeks of rumors and an assumption by many that they would deal him if they traded Price. While everyone in the clubhouse was disappointed to lose Price, they were pleased -- as much as they could be, at least -- that the rest of the group came back to work Friday.
"I'm really happy the team on the field remained intact. Zo, as an example," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "That would have been, I think, a little more difficult only because of the everyday component and the versatility component. That might have been a little bit more difficult to deal with."
Rays ready to move forward without Price
ST. PETERSBURG -- The locker David Price occupied inside the Rays' clubhouse is now empty after the team's ace was traded to Detroit on Thursday for left-hander Drew Smyly, infielder Nick Franklin and shortstop Willy Adames.
Though his former teammates made it clear he is missed, they appeared ready to try and continue the roll they enjoyed in July, when the team posted a Major League-best record of 17-6.
"This is just how we have to operate," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "This is who we are. I think the players have done a wonderful job of understanding this moment, and I don't anticipate any let down or let up."
Added Alex Cobb: "We've had to move forward as an organization to try and make ourselves better. Not only now, but leading into the years to come."
Price had a large persona; not only on the field but inside the dugout and within the clubhouse. Evan Longoria noted that the team will have to "pull the collective weight of David on a daily basis, which will be tough."
"He brought a ton of energy to the ballpark," Longoria said, "so the goal for us should be to try not to dwell on the past. As tough as that may be, we have to move forward with the guys that we have.
"This game -- it's almost unfortunate -- but it does have a way of forgetting guys really quickly. And I know I'll never forget David and what he meant to this organization and what he means to me as a friend. … It has a funny way of moving forward. That's not meant to hurt his feelings or anything. But I'm sure he understands that once he gets into that clubhouse that he's going to have to put us behind him and worry about winning for the Tigers and their organization."
One of the main concerns in losing Price, aside from his pitching abilities, is the fact he normally gives most of the bullpen a day off by pitching into the seventh or eighth innings. Without that, the Rays will likely have to cover more innings with their bullpen. Maddon doesn't look at that as a negative, rather an opportunity.
"I think this is a time for other people to accelerate their games and then become more of a household name," Maddon said. "It's called opportunity, for me. When you get in these moments, and there's guys that have been clamoring for the moment, now here it is. Here's your opportunity. Go. Go take advantage of your opportunity. Here it is."
One other offshoot of the trade is the fact the Rays are once again in their familiar underdog role, which is a role the team seems to embrace.
"That's who we are," Maddon said. "I don't think that's ever going to go away. OK, we were picked to go to the World Series and win it by some people. That kind of went away. That's a very usual moment. We're definitely back into the underdog."
Hanigan nearing return, Myers progressing
ST. PETERSBURG -- Ryan Hanigan (left-oblique strain) is close to returning from the disabled list.
"He wants to play," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "He came out here, felt pretty good [on Friday]."
Maddon said Hanigan could possibly play in a Minor League game Saturday.
Wil Myers (right wrist fracture) swung the bat on Friday, taking 15 swings off a tee, taking another 20 swings via flip toss, and, finally, 15 batting practice swings inside the cage. Afterward, Myers said he had no pain and felt really good -- good enough to produce what he called "cage bombs" during the batting practice portion of his workout.
While Myers felt encouraged, he allowed that he needs to get past the "mental hurdle" of taking a big rip with the bat.