Willy Adames happy to remain with Rays

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Marc Topkin, Tampa Bay Times
·3 min read
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PORT CHARLOTTE — Kevin Kiermaier wasn’t the only Rays player relieved to not be traded this winter.

Shortstop Willy Adames also heard his name mentioned, specifically in connection with the Reds, and was so concerned he might be dealt he talked with general manager Erik Neander about his status.

“Obviously when you see your name on the trades, it doesn’t feel good,” Adames said on a Zoom call after Tuesday’s first full-squad workout of the spring. “Because obviously last year was a great year for us. We experienced the World Series, and it was great.

“I feel really good here with the team, and with the guys, with the teammates, the staff, the clubhouse guys, everybody here. So obviously you worry a little bit. I even had a conversation with Erik about it, and everything was good. I’m still here. I’m just happy to be back.”

Adames, one of the team leaders even though he’s only 25 (“I feel a little old now,” he joked), reported early to spring camp as usual. One thing he’s already done is talk with Wander Franco, the game’s top prospect and potential heir to Adames’ job, about being relaxed in his first big-league camp. Adames received the same advice from veteran players.

“Obviously, Franco is going to be a superstar,” Adames said. “He’s a great, great guy and unbelievable player. … I told him, ‘Just don’t try to do too much, man. When you get here, you get here. Just do your thing and go ball out.’”

Spring ticket information coming

Information is expected Wednesday on tickets for the 14 spring home games at Charlotte Sports Park, with the opener Sunday against the Braves. Seating will be distanced in pods of two or four, limited to around 1,100 and sold for fixed seats and the grass berms, but not along the boardwalk. Pre-sales will start Wednesday; sales to the general public will take place Friday at 10 a.m. via raysbaseball.com.

Meeting time

Manager Kevin Cash said the spring-opening team meeting was more about information than inspiration, with introductions of staff and a reminder of the importance of adhering to the coronavirus health and safety protocols. “Erik and I both felt it was important to talk about the protocols,” Cash said. “Instill what’s at stake, what’s in place and that we’re going to do everything we can to follow them. Stress the value of that, and that being a good teammate falls under that umbrella.”

Miscellany

‣ Tuesday’s first full-squad workout also was the first of the spring open to the media. Among the more interesting sights: the amount of time Franco spent talking with Randy Arozarena, the rookie outfielder who had the breakout postseason; and the number of talented and touted middle infielders.

‣ The 77 players on the camp roster are a Rays record, one more than in 1999.

‣ Top returning starter Tyler Glasnow will be among the pitchers throwing live batting practice on Wednesday. Michael Wacha and Pete Fairbanks are among the others slated to throw.