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Rays told Kiermaier teams were calling about him before lockout

Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The longest-tenured member of the Tampa Bay Rays could be on the move once MLB resumes business following its lockout.

Rays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier recently revealed that president of baseball operations Erik Neander told him hours before the collective bargaining agreement expired at midnight on Dec. 1 - halting all signings and trades and triggering a lockout - that other teams were showing interest in trading for him.

Neander, Kiermaier said, noted it was unlikely a deal would materialize but that things could change as talks continued.

"I couldn't believe that (Joey Wendle) got traded," Kiermaier told Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. "Then I'm like, 'Well, if he got traded and this article is saying the discussions are heating up, I'm for sure getting traded now.'"

Rumblings of Wendle's trade to the Miami Marlins began on Nov. 30, and the deal was finalized the following day. Kiermaier said Neander called him moments before the lockout to assure the three-time Gold Glove winner he wasn't being traded - at least not yet.

"If and when the lockout gets lifted, I think the 24-72 hours after that are going to be absolutely nuts for baseball in general," Kiermaier said. "And I'm over here wondering myself what's going to happen. So, wild times right now."

Kiermaier, 31, is entering the penultimate season of a six-year, $53-million deal signed before the 2017 campaign. The former Platinum Glove center fielder is owed at least $14.7 million and a maximum of $25.2 million over the next two seasons. He hit .259/.328/.388 with four home runs and nine steals over 122 games in 2021.

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