UPDATE, 5:55: Trade talks apparently picked up this afternoon, perhaps related to previous activity by other teams, and for first time Rays officials sound like something could happen tonight.
"At this point today, some of those conversations are moving along and they're entering more advanced stages," senior VP Chaim Bloom said around 5:15. "We have a much better idea of what's real and what isn't, and in some cases starting to drill down to the more advanced stages of conversation.
"There's nothing right at the finish line right now; I wouldn't rule it out. There's nothing at the 1-yard line at this very moment."
Without confirming the still-not-official signing of Marte, Bloom said they were "excited" about the opportunity to add the reported $1-million in bonus pool money as some of the young international talent as the potential to eventually "really impact" a club.
Also, Bloom said they were "braced" to lose players in Thursday's Rule 5 draft but didn't know for sure what would happen or if they would make a selection. Baseball America projects Rays RHP Burch Smith and C Nick Ciuffo as two of the top five candidates to be taken.
UPDATE, 3:50: The most interesting deal of the day thus far is the Cardinals getting OF Marcell Ozuna from the Marlins, for a package led by prospect RHP Sandy Alcantara. This deal getting done could lead the Cardinals and Rays to get more serious in talks that have been ongoing about closer RHP Alex Colome, and could expand to include 3B Evan Longoria and/or RHP Chris Archer. … Pre- and in-game reporter Alex Corddry won't be back on Fox Sports Sun's Rays telecasts, having completed a one-year contract.
UPDATE, 11:29: In needing to acquire about $400,000 in international cap money to complete the deal for Marte, the Rays made a deal with familiar trade partner Seattle. In fact, they sent back one of the players they got from the Mariners in an August trade, LHP Anthony Misiewicz.
Misiewicz came to the Rays with INF Luis Rengifo for RHP Ryan Garton and C Mike Marjama and pitched at Double-A Montgomery.
DEVELOPING: The Rays have been doing a lot of talking about big deals but making only small ones thus far at the winter meetings.
Though willing to at least consider trading any of the bigger-name, higher-paid players on their roster, the Rays have only added two fringe infielders.
Closer Alex Colome remains the most likely to be traded, and he fed the speculation on Tuesday night on social media by following several Cardinals accounts on Instagram.
The Rays have been talking with the Cardinals, Cubs, Mets and Rockies about Colome, among others. They are also engaged with several teams on starter Chris Archer, among others.
Rays officials on Tuesday declined comment on the report of a deal with top international prospect SS Jelfry Marte, which could mean there's talks that haven't been finalized and also that the Rays need to first acquire some pool money in a deal first. Marte, 16, agreed to a sign with the Twins for $3-million, but the deal was voided due to vision issues.