Friedman: Rays Will Reallocate Garza Money

Now that Matt Garza is officially a Cub, his former team has a little extra money burning a hole in its pocket. The right-hander earned $3.35MM in 2010 and was due a raise in his second trip through the arbitration process, perhaps into the $5-6MM range. Rays GM Andrew Friedman told Marc Topkin of The St. Petersburg Times that the club will now reallocate that money, and look to add one or two hitters and one or two relievers (Twitter link).

Tampa's offseason has been more about subtraction than addition to this point. In addition to Garza, shortstop Jason Bartlett was traded away, while Carl Crawford, Carlos Pena, Randy Choate, and Dan Wheeler all left via free agency. Rafael Soriano, Chad Qualls, and Grant Balfour remain unsigned as well. It's possible that Qualls and/or Balfour (a Type-A free agent) could return now that the team has some extra money, but it would be an upset if Soriano came back. Right-hander Joel Peralta has been their only significant signing so far.

The Rays could look to add a bat at first base, DH, or in the outfield. They're said to have interest in Vladimir Guerrero as well as Johnny Damon, and we can't discount Jim Thome or Manny Ramirez. Fred Lewis' name has popped up as well. On the relief pitcher front, they've been connected to both Manny Delcarmen and Brian Fuentes recently, but plenty of other free agent options still remain.

Tampa only has $18.43MM tied up in 2011 payroll right now (according to Cot's), though arbitration raises to B.J. Upton and Andy Sonnanstine are still to come, ditto quite a few pre-arbitration signings. Principal owner Stuart Sternberg has indicated that payroll will dip below $60MM next season, but right now they appear to be well below that.


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