8/26/2014 12:41 A.M. ET
Maddon speaks with Escobar amid trade rumors
By Bill Chastain / MLB.com
BALTIMORE -- Rumors of Yunel Escobar's departure via a trade seem to be premature, at least according to Rays manager Joe Maddon.
According to multiple reports over the weekend, the Athletics claimed Escobar, which would have meant the two teams had until Tuesday afternoon to come to an agreement about making a trade or not.
Due to those reports, Maddon spoke to Escobar on Monday to discuss the situation, ostensibly to ease the mind of the Rays' starting shortstop.
"I called him in," Maddon said. "I knew he was upset. It was obvious.
"...I told him [Rays executive vice president of baseball operations] Andrew [Friedman] and I spoke about it and I was able to tell him that we're very, very pleased with what he's doing. We can see him continuing to get better with us. To not be worried about anything happening."
Maddon was pressed further when a reporter followed by asking, "Nothing's going to happen?"
Maddon replied: "That's what I got from Andrew."
Once Major League Baseball's July 31 Trade Deadline passes, players must clear waivers in order to get traded. So clubs routinely place their players on waivers as a matter of procedure so they can make their roster liquid. If a player clears waivers he can be traded. If another team claims the player, the teams can work out a deal. Being put on waivers at this time of year is no indication about how a club feels about a player. It's simply good business. However, that information is supposed to be confidential.
"What happened was, first of all that never should have been reported, that's privileged information regarding the waiver situation," Maddon said. "It happens to everybody out there. That's the funny part. Everybody goes through this process, but nobody ever reports them on it.
"I did talk to [Escobar] today to [ease] his mind. And this is a baseball process. It happens to a lot of big leaguers. The difference is I'm dealing with a guy here who works a lot on emotion. So I had to make sure that Yuni understood our position on it. And try to get him to go out there and play with a clear mind."
Escobar's contract pays him $5 million this season and he is signed to a two-year, $13 million deal for 2015 and 2016 that also includes a club option for 2017.
"Yesterday during the game, I got a few calls from different people. I wasn't expecting that," Escobar said through an interpreter. "It was a big hit for me to learn what was going on. But I feel a lot better after talking to Joe. I'm good now.
"I'm happy to be here. This is where I want to be in this organization. It's been like a new beginning and I don't want to go anywhere."
Rays still waiting to find out protest ruling
BALTIMORE -- The Rays still have not heard about the status of their protest that came as a result of a replay challenge during the fourth inning of Saturday's game.
The Blue Jays challenged a call on a pickoff play at first base when Wil Myers was ruled out after the replay was viewed. Rays manager Joe Maddon contends the next "play" had occurred -- making it too late for a challenge -- because the pitcher, Mark Buehrle, had toed the rubber and the next batter, Yunel Escobar, had entered the batter's box prior to Blue Jays manager John Gibbons making the challenge.
Myers spoke about what happened on Monday.
"I thought I was safe on the play anyway," Myers said. "I was surprised that they even challenged and were looking at the challenge. ... Looking at the replay, I thought my hand was in there before the tag. So I was very surprised that I got called out on that."
Myers added that he believed the Rays have a legitimate protest.
"I don't remember where Escobar was in the box, but Buehrle was on the mound," Myers said. "He was on the rubber when I got off the base. I do know that. I don't know where Escobar was. So if the rule is pitcher's on the rubber and the hitter's in the box. You have a legitimate argument there."
Myers was asked if he thought the next play had already started.
"I saw Buehrle on the mound, there was no question about that," Myers said. "I don't know where Escobar was, so I can't comment on that. But I do know that Buehrle was on the rubber."
Maddon noted that he felt good about the Rays' presentation.
"I feel strongly about what we said, I have not wavered or changed at all," Maddon said. "I think we're in the right. It's just a matter of waiting for the decision."
The Rays took two out of three from the Blue Jays over the weekend, prompting Maddon to note: "We still have a chance for a sweep and we're waiting to find out."
Crew chief Bob Davidson believes that Blue Jays manager John Gibbons challenged just in time, but it will ultimately be Major League Baseball's executive vice president of baseball operations Joe Torre who has the final say.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.