Blalock To Join Rays Today

2:31pm: Rays executive vice president Andrew Friedman confirmed the promotion of Blalock in a blog post by Topkin

Friedman insists that the move has nothing to do with Blalock's contract situation and potential opt-out clause.  The club, he says, talked during Spring Training about re-evaluating things at this point in the season. 

He added that Dan Johnson, currently in Triple-A Durham, was also considered for promotion.  The 30-year-old has been posting even stronger numbers than Blalock, hitting .311/.382/.647 with 11 HRs.

10:52am: The team has yet to confirm the move, but it appears that Hank Blalock will join the Rays for today's game against the Mariners according to Heath Baywood at DRaysBay. Marc Topkin of The St. Petersburg Times backs up the report.

Earlier this week Scott Boras indicated that Blalock would exercise the opt-out clause in his contract if he wasn't called up within a week. The two-time All Star hit .349/.405/.505 with Tampa's Triple-A affiliate, though oddly enough he hit lefties better than righties. That could easily be a function of limited at-bats, however.

Tampa Bay has two open spots on it's 40-man roster, but they will need to clear a 25-man roster spot for Blalock. Topkin says that it remains to be seen if this is the end of the Pat Burrell era, even though he's hitting just .202/.292/.333 this year. Either way, the Rays are the hook for his $9MM salary this season.


15 Responses to Blalock To Join Rays Today Leave a Reply

  1. It would be nice for Blalock, but part of me hopes that Burrell is stuck in Tampa the rest of the season, riding it out, killing their entire season and franchise for that matter, to send a message to baseball that this whole FA/mercenary situation is really messed up. The Rays offense is sputtering right now and Burrell’s contract could literally destroy the entire franchise. I admire the Rays for what they’ve done thus far as an organization, but that one mistake absolutely could ruin them, and I hope it happens because it will show everyone loud and clear, just how bad baseball and the tanking mercenaries, in this care Burrell, really are. FA rules need to change, everyone but the Yankees and Red Sox admit that, and it would be sad if the Rays had to die in order to make that a reality, but if that’s what it’s gonna take to make baseball better as a whole…

    • Overreact much? Burrell’s $9MM salary isn’t going to “destroy the entire franchise.”

    • Triteon 5 years ago

      Wow, that comment is just so…wrong. I have to struggle to think of a club that doesn’t have one bad or regrettable contract, and none of those teams will be brought down by them. It’s baseball: players age, and eventually they decline at different rates.

      Burrell hit 30+ HR over the 4 years prior to signing with the Rays, carried above-average peripherals and as late as 2008 offered almost the same value as Jason Bay. So the Rays got burned, it happens.

    • Piccamo 5 years ago

      So what would be your ideal player free agency situation?

  2. crunchy1 5 years ago

    If they let him go, I wonder if the Mariners will pick up Burrell on the cheap. They did it with Byrnes and Garko. Maybe the third time’s a charm.

  3. eacree 5 years ago

    just official blalock is in and burrell is out lol

  4. Brad13 5 years ago

    Hard to believe that Blalock is still not that old

  5. Trious 5 years ago

    Why they haven’t done this much earlier is beyond me

    Pat Burrell has been terrible since the day he joined the Rays and should have been dumped months ago

    Hank may not be great but he will give them a significant upgrade

  6. Trious 5 years ago

    Why they haven’t done this much earlier is beyond me

    Pat Burrell has been terrible since the day he joined the Rays and should have been dumped months ago

    Hank may not be great but he will give them a significant upgrade

  7. OK folks, let me splain. The NFL has a very nice system in place wherein if a player stinks, they get cut and do not get paid. The MLB really needs that in the next CBA. That alone is worth a lockout and is something I would not begrudge the owners for doing one bit.

    The reason it’s going to kill the Rays, is because they had such a limited amount of financial flexibility to go after any FA’s, and they used it on Burrell. It was a mistake. You compound that with two other issues. They have an extremely narrow window to win anything with the players they have now. Crawford and Pena will be gone next year, so this is the last chance they have to do much, until they can reload on offense. That’s gonna take a little bit of time. Add that to problem #2, which is the fact that their stadium is located in St. Pete instead of Tampa, and nobody from Tampa wants to drive there to see a game.

    The franchise is on VERY unstable ground right now, and this might very well be their only chance to win a title while still in Florida, and if that one mistake alone cost them that chance, THEN perhaps THAT would convince the rest of the baseball world and fans just how serious this issue is. THEN maybe something would change, if it killed the organization, because of one stupid mistake, and one that actually made sense at the time.

    I actually like the Rays. I think they are doing most things the right way. I have a problem with baseball, and if the Rays have to get thrown on the altar to get things fixed for everyone else, then so be it.

    I’m sick of the Soriano’s, and Zito’s of the world making all that jack, and not earning it.
    How disturbing is that? I actually want people to EARN THEIR PAYCHECKS! SICKENING!

    • Piccamo 5 years ago

      So what about contracts that go the other way? Would the Longorias, the A-Gonzes, and all of the other team friendly deals be dissolved as well? If not, you give a lot more power to the ballclubs. If so, you practically eliminate free agency and give a lot more power to the ballclubs. Based on your demeanor I don’t think that you consider that a bad thing. I also think that it would lead to a steady decline in player salaries, which could also be considered a good thing, but would drive more kids away from baseball and not do anything to enhance the product on the field while simply lining the pockets of the owners.

      I hope this makes sense. I’m tired.

      • Longoria and A-Gonz’s contracts are 2 different beasts. Longoria took a long contract at the beginning to guarantee him he’d be set for life no matter what happened. Sad for him, yes, but he made that trade off. A-Gonz is just playing out the MANDATORY contract under the arbitration agreement and will walk as soon as he can to get paid. My beef would be if he walked, signed a HUGE deal, and then stunk up the joint for years and years.
        Yes, you could say I’m pro-owner on this situation, and you would probably be right, because I’m tired of ticket prices rising higher and higher so I can pay Gary Mathews Jr (Angels) and Oliver Perez (Mets) their big contracts. I’m pro-owner on this, because I’m pro-me. I’m sick of rising ticket prices for baseball games. There are a ton of games. They ought to be cheap, but they have to keep raising prices because of these massive contracts.

        I don’t like the A-Rod’s and the Holiday’s of the world making THAT much money, but I get it. If they bring in that much revenue, so be it. But it’s the wastes of space that really make me mad. They use roids for a little while, don’t get caught and sign a fat contract. They go off the roids and stink for life. I have a huge problem with that and don’t want to pay inflated prices at the ball park so I can support THOSE salaries.

        If this one problem got fixed, yes, some of that money would go to the owners, but ticket prices would come down and would stay down for awhile. Make the players earn their money the entire contract instead of just when it’s signed. That’s the way the REST OF THE FREE WORLD WORKS! If you don’t live up to your expectations, they can you. But with sports, it’s a different beast, and we’ve come to be okay with that, and it’s time for a reality check for the prima donnas of the baseball world.

        • Piccamo 5 years ago

          We would never see another Longoria contract or any other contract that covers multiple years. From the perspective of the player it is no longer worth it. They only sign cheaper long-term deals in case they are injured or in case they under-perform. Under this scenario, the Rays (and other small market teams) are destroyed because they have to pay full price for their players.

          How does a lower cost to the owners lower ticket prices? As far as I can tell, ticket prices have largely stayed at the rate of inflation. Why would the owners lower prices? Sure, you can’t go see a Yankees game, but even at that price virtually every game is a sellout for them, but if you want to see most teams it is not a problem.

          This is the same way the rest of the world works. They signed a contract and neither side can breach that contract without being liable for damages. They cannot include performance-based language in the contract because of another contract the Players’ Union and the MLB signed. There is nothing extraordinary about this compared to the rest of the free world.

    • Piccamo 5 years ago

      So what about contracts that go the other way? Would the Longorias, the A-Gonzes, and all of the other team friendly deals be dissolved as well? If not, you give a lot more power to the ballclubs. If so, you practically eliminate free agency and give a lot more power to the ballclubs. Based on your demeanor I don’t think that you consider that a bad thing. I also think that it would lead to a steady decline in player salaries, which could also be considered a good thing, but would drive more kids away from baseball and not do anything to enhance the product on the field while simply lining the pockets of the owners.

      I hope this makes sense. I’m tired.

  8. OK folks, let me splain. The NFL has a very nice system in place wherein if a player stinks, they get cut and do not get paid. The MLB really needs that in the next CBA. That alone is worth a lockout and is something I would not begrudge the owners for doing one bit.

    The reason it’s going to kill the Rays, is because they had such a limited amount of financial flexibility to go after any FA’s, and they used it on Burrell. It was a mistake. You compound that with two other issues. They have an extremely narrow window to win anything with the players they have now. Crawford and Pena will be gone next year, so this is the last chance they have to do much, until they can reload on offense. That’s gonna take a little bit of time. Add that to problem #2, which is the fact that their stadium is located in St. Pete instead of Tampa, and nobody from Tampa wants to drive there to see a game.

    The franchise is on VERY unstable ground right now, and this might very well be their only chance to win a title while still in Florida, and if that one mistake alone cost them that chance, THEN perhaps THAT would convince the rest of the baseball world and fans just how serious this issue is. THEN maybe something would change, if it killed the organization, because of one stupid mistake, and one that actually made sense at the time.

    I actually like the Rays. I think they are doing most things the right way. I have a problem with baseball, and if the Rays have to get thrown on the altar to get things fixed for everyone else, then so be it.

    I’m sick of the Soriano’s, and Zito’s of the world making all that jack, and not earning it.
    How disturbing is that? I actually want people to EARN THEIR PAYCHECKS! SICKENING!

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