Offseason Outlook: Tampa Bay Rays

The Rays will work within their budget in an attempt to boost their offense, but they don’t intend to sacrifice run prevention along the way.

Guaranteed Contracts

Arbitration Eligible Players (estimated salaries)

Contract Options

  • Kelly Shoppach, C: $3.2MM club option with a $300K buyout (no Elias ranking)
  • Kyle Farnsworth, RP: $3.3MM club option with a $650K buyout (Type A)
  • James Shields, SP: $7.5MM club option with a $2MM buyout (Type A)

Free Agents

Andrew Friedman realizes the Rays' offense could be better and he'd like to improve it. But it's not as simple as adding a couple of sluggers. If improving the offense means sacrificing pitching and defense, the Rays may well pass.

The Rays may hold onto their starting pitching depth instead of peddling arms for a power hitting first baseman or DH, even though such restraint would disappoint their possible trade partners. After the Rays were eliminated from the playoffs in early October, Friedman said starting pitching depth is "everything" for his team. His statement won’t prevent other clubs from calling about Tampa's starters, but the success of Matt Moore and Alex Cobb doesn't make James ShieldsJeff NiemannDavid Price, Wade Davis and Jeremy Hellickson expendable — far from it. Injuries can strike unexpectedly and the Rays can't afford elite free agent pitchers, so they depend on their ability to develop arms.

This doesn't mean they'll be as quiet on the trade market as they were this summer, however. They could be tempted by an offer for a starter, as they were last offseason when they sent Matt Garza to the Cubs. Perhaps B.J. Upton, the subject of countless trade rumors over the years, will finally be dealt. He boosted his trade value by posting a 1.038 OPS over the course of an impressive final month and would be sure to draw interest if he's available. If the Rays trade Upton, they could move Desmond Jennings to center field and start searching for a left fielder (assuming they view Sam Fuld as a fourth outfielder).

The Rays, who don't operate with a traditional set payroll, will probably exceed the $42MM they committed to the 2011 club. If they pick up the options for Shields and Farnsworth, as expected, and retain all arbitration eligible players other than non-tender candidates J.P. Howell and Andy Sonnanstine, they'll have committed roughly $44MM, not including minimum salary players. The Rays drew fewer fans than every American League team except the Athletics and owner Stuart Sternberg says the Rays' current stadium situation is "untenable as a model going forward," so it's hard to imagine much of a payroll boost.

Despite these fiscal restraints, this offseason could be less daunting than last winter. At least the Rays won't have to watch their division rivals snap up their best players, as they did a year ago when the Red Sox signed Carl Crawford and the Yankees picked up Rafael Soriano. Meanwhile, replacing Juan Cruz will seem easy after seeing six relievers depart last year. The Rays will add an reliever or two, but the emergence of Brandon Gomes and Jake McGee means Friedman won't face another bullpen overhaul.

As usual, the Rays will build through trades and modest free agent signings while ignoring the top free agent attractions. Their clearest positional weaknesses exist at first base, designated hitter and catcher. Rays backstops combined for a .607 OPS (27th in MLB), so there's room for improvement behind the plate. At $3.2MM, the team will likely decline Kelly Shoppach's option, but they like his defense enough that they could try to re-sign him. They could also pursue a trade for a catcher, such as Chris Iannetta, or hope Robinson Chirinos and Jose Lobaton can adjust to MLB pitching and produce the way they did in the minors. I wonder if the Rays could envision a situation where Jorge Posada joins them as a part-time catcher and designated hitter against right-handers (as Joel Sherman has suggested).

Free agents Johnny Damon and Casey Kotchman could return in 2012. If Kotchman's strong all-around season prices him out of the Rays' budget, they may have to wait until late in the winter and hope to repeat their success with another low-risk deal. The Rays also figure to express interest in affordable first basemen and designated hitters in trade talks.

The Rays strike early when they're interested in extending a player. Price, however, is heading for unchartered territory in arbitration (along with Clayton Kershaw) and seems too expensive for the Rays to keep around long-term. They do have other extension candidates this offseason and while there's no rush to extend Hellickson or Jennings, the Rays are aggressive when it comes to locking up core players early in their careers. Agent Scott Boras would likely advise against a long-term deal for Jennings if it meant capping his earning potential and/or providing Tampa Bay with multiple team options.

Beating the payroll odds is becoming an artform for the low-budget Rays. Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira will combine to out-earn the Tampa Bay roster on their own next year. Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford won't be far behind. Yet the Rays have three postseason berths in the past four seasons — as many as the Yankees and one more than the Red Sox — despite the discrepancy. But unlike the Yankees and Red Sox, the Rays have never won it all. To compete for a title again next year they'll need another successful offseason. Friedman and his front office must find a first baseman and a designated hitter, sort out their catching situation and tinker with the bullpen, all while weighing the risks and benefits of pulling the trigger on a trade.


87 Responses to Offseason Outlook: Tampa Bay Rays Leave a Reply

  1. I could see the Ray’s and Sox discussing a potential A.J. swap, with the Sox picking up a portion of the salary.

    • cookmeister 4 years ago

      AJ who

      • East Coast Bias 4 years ago

        AJ Burnett

      • Pierzynski maybe?

        • Yup that’s the one. Plus seeing how there’s only one A.J. playing on the south side, and no A.J.’s playing for the BoSox.

          • cookmeister 4 years ago

            He has 10/5 rights, why would he agree to go there? and i’m sure the Rays could think of something better to do

          • jwsox 4 years ago

            I believe he is from Florida at least currently
            Lives there in the off season. Could be a match. Besides the rays stand a better chance of competing next season than my rebuilding south side sox

          • Matt Moore 4 years ago

            A statistic that I just made up says that at least 50% of major league players reside in Flordia in the offseason.

          • Pete 4 years ago

            Another statistic I made up says that the rest live in Arizona.

  2. Don’t forget SS. I like Brignac’s D but he can’t hit

  3. kejadude 4 years ago

    I’m hoping we can get in and swipe David Ortiz. That would be a big improvement over Damon at DH.

    At first, maybe resign Kotchman or trade for somebody like Billy Butler (Rumors a few weeks back that the Royals would trade Butler, Wil Myers, young starter and a reliever for Shields if they could). Though Butler’s D is shaky so maybe my perfect scenario of Ortiz and Butler in the lineup wouldn’t work.

    For LF, it would be awesome if we could sign somebody like Josh Willingham. Unfortunately, he’s a Type A FA so I’m not sure if the Rays would want to do that.

    Catcher is just gonna suck… please, let’s NOT resign Shoppach because of his defense. He’s not even an elite defender and he hits like .180. Don’t get carried away because of one game in the postseason. I guess we’ll just have to experiment and probably use Jaso against righties and Chirinos against lefties… Disaster.

    And for SS, well… Briggy plays great D but he was awful swinging the stick… Sean Rodriguez could possibly be an option if Maddon decided to do the right thing and make Joyce an everyday player instead if sometimes sitting him against lefties… that would allow Zobrist to play 2B every day and SRod at SS? Another option could possibly be Tim Beckham… if he continues to develop, we could see him sometime next year. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how it all plays out in the Spring.

    GO RAYS!!!

    • That sounds like too much for Shields. What were you roughly thinking for the young pitcher part?  

    • start_wearing_purple
      start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

      I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Rays make a play for Ortiz. Ortiz would probably be pretty receptive, he knows the division and he’d still be on a competitor. However the rumors are Ortiz will want years over money and I don’t know if the Rays would be willing to guarantee a second year.

    • One possibility for the Rays would be to trade Shields to the Jays for Adam Lind, Adam Loewen (LF), and a pitching prospect.  Lind has several team friendly options and Loewen would only be a 4th outfielder on the Jays despite showing some good pop with his bat. Lind has always hit well at the Trop too and offers more power than Kotchman.

      Toronto would of course have to either sign Fielder or pull off the unlikely trade for Votto in order for that to happen. But the pieces are certainly there to at least discuss.

      • Bleed_Orange 4 years ago

        I think the Rays could get alot more for Shields then that, especally if he’s traded within the AL east.

      • baseballz 4 years ago

        Thats a terrible deal! But as a Jays fan I would love it. We get rid of our junkie first baseman and his salary, Loewen is going to be dfa’d so we can get value for him and a pitching prospect? sure we got those.

        And then we can turn around and trade Shields for Jesus Montero to play first ! Or use Shields to get the pieces needed to trade for Votto.

        • Morley C 4 years ago

          I would hope you mean “junk” first baseman, which while I disagree, is quite a bit different than a “junkie” first baseman.

        • I don’t think it’s that farfetched of a deal.  The Rays need cheap hitting…Lind does offer that. And they need a first baseman with power…Lind offers that too.  Loewen is sort of a shot in the dark…but he can play all 3 outfield positions….so LF won’t be an issue…and he has the potential to hit 15-20 hrs.  Plus…he can step right in just like Lind and contribute next season which the Rays will need to compete.  Throw in a couple of prospects…and I think the Rays could bite. The trade could help both sides immediately. And Lind still offers huge upside in my opinion as he looked much better this past year than he did in 2010.

          • baseballz 4 years ago

            Fair enough Ben. I don’t see Loewen as any different then what the Rays already have in Guyer; I see your power argument which is what the Rays need, but his ability to make contact is what I see as his real problem, something Guyer would have him beat on and the power difference between the two really isn’t that different.

            Lind I think its no secret that he was hurt all the second half of the season and his 2009 season seems to be getting further and further behind him. As much as I hate to say it, the one thing that Cito really brought to the team was the mentoring Lind seemed to need. The real questions for the Rays are how much it would take to get Kotchman back, and if that price was much more then what Lind will be making next year.

            I really think for a deal to work the Rays would want Travis Snider (who unlike Loewen have options); his stock is low and he’s a potential bust, but a change of scenery would benefit him and the pay off would be fantastic, I still believe in Snider personally. The Rays love great defenders and hard workers which is how Snider became so much better on D but he would really bring together their outfield once they trade Upton.

            I’d say your looking at Snider, Lind, a reliever they could use ala the Bartlett trade Joel Carreno and a prospect who is high upside like Noah Syndergaard. 

          • baseballz 4 years ago

            Or the Rays could always go for their catcher of the future who they always are trying to draft in a guy like Travis D’arnaud. Now that would be an interesting trade which I would hate.

          • I doubt the Jays give up d’Arnaud…but if they did….they would want Price and not Shields IMO.  Also…since d’Arnaud won the MVP honors in the Eastern League this year…I’d say d’Arnaud, Thames or Loewen and a pitching propsect would be all they get. I hope that doesn’t happen…although Price would be a nice addition to our rotation.

    • Pete 4 years ago

      Is James Shields worth  Adam Lind, Adam Loewen + a prospect?

      Or Bill Butler, Wil Myers, young starter and a reliever?  

      That’s really a massive gap, lol

      • I think you Rays fans are placing waaaaay too much value on Shields as a pitcher.  I agree he’s good….and he’s durable since he has pitched over 200 innings for the past 5 seasons.  But this past year was by far his best season in the Majors.  He had 11 complete games….he had 0 CG for the 2 seasons prior and only 5 in his major league career before this season.  Aside from having good seasons in 2007 and 2008, he did not do as well in either 2009 or 2010.  Although this past year he had an ERA of 2.82….he is sporting a career ERA of 3.96 (Still good…but not Great). His ERA last year was 5.18!!!!

        Plus…Shields is a Free Agent after next year and will likely be looking to get PAID!!!!  That makes his value go down that much more!!  I know the Rays won’t be able to afford him.  Do you really think the Royals are going to be able to give him a BIG contract????  Do you think the Royals are going to give up Billy Butler who has a team option all the way until 2015 and wouldn’t hit FA until 2016. And on top of Butler…you think they are going to give up Myers, a young starter (prospect) AND a reliever????? AND then pay Shields who will likely be looking for a 4-5 year deal in the 50-70 million range??
        Keep dreaming!!!

        You act like Lind is not a good player.  His numbers have been down the past 2 years but he had a huge season in 2009. And his numbers this year were on pace to match those in terms of both average and hrs before having some minor back issues.  I’m sure he’ll address his core strength this off-season and will be back to form.  Even despite missing more than 1 month this year…he still managed to hit 26 hrs. Are you seriously telling me that you wouldn’t want him in the middle of your order considering he has team friendly options all the way through 2016 (8 million in 2016..final year of deal). And throw in Loewen who projects to be a much better hitter than Sam Fuld in LF and is making the league minimum I believe.  Plus…throw in a pitching prospect.

        I think that deal would be more than fair! And the Rays would get 2 major league ready players on the cheap who could help their offense next season.

        BUT if you think you can get more for Shields in the final year of his contract….go for it. But Shields is far from being considered an ACE in the sense of Halladay, Lee, Hernandez, etc.  I wouldn’t get your hopes up of getting a HUGE payday in terms of players in return!

        • jtmorgan 4 years ago

          Shields has 3 years of team options, very friendly options at that.

          • You’re right…I didn’t see that.  That would make his value go up. But I still think a deal with Lind, Loewen and a pitching prospect or 2 would be fair.

          • nah son like i said you a dummy…. thats astronomically far away from shields’ trade value.

        • javywoz 4 years ago

          Wow, and if you think a 28 old rookie OF (who at best is likely as good as Brandon Guyer, who is already ML ready and with the Rays – which pretty much makes Loewen worthless to them), and a 1B who in his 5 years has only 1 season with an OPS over .755 is worth Shields, then you are crazy

          • Fine…I guess the Rays will be fine resigning Casey Kotchman and hope that he puts up similar numbers to this year…which was by far his best year ever.  Lind would offer the Rays a good hitting first baseman for the next 4 years on the cheap.  I don’t know how Lind and 2 other players (one being a very good pitching prospect) wouldn’t be appealing to the Rays or their fans.

        • your so dumb  bro just kill yaself. shields is worth more than your LIFE son!

      • Pete…after reading your post again…I apologize if you were saying that Shields is not worth either of those deals.  You would probably be right.

        The rest of my post stands as I think the Rays fans are placing way to much value on Shields and his career year last year.

        • your obviously not a rays fan so you dont know WHY we put so much value on him. yeah he had a CY YOUNG year this year but since hes on the rays of course he gets NO votes which is ridiculous. but hes BEEN a GREAT pitcher REGARDLESS of his STATS. hes a WORKHORSE hes ALWAYS goes MORE than 200 innings EVERY YEAR son! you so ignorant its obvious why you think shields isnt worth as much as rays fans think. hes worth more than ya life son! check yaself before ya wreck yaself kid! oh wait. ya already wrecked yaself when them DUMMY status comments son! 

      • he IS worth that. but theyre not worth him

  4. NickinIthaca 4 years ago

    Stu Sternberg needs to stop being cheap and sign Prince Fielder!  If he doesn’t I’ll stop not showing up to the Trop….

    Oh wait…  this argument’s already been used?

  5. Go Rays! If you dont root for them even just a little you have no sould

    • Yankees420 4 years ago

      What’s a sould?

    • Matt Moore 4 years ago

      What if you are a ginger and dont root for the rays?

    • Why would I root for a team who’s “fans” don’t come to watch a very good, exciting product?  Yes the Tropicana being the worst park in baseball is no excuse.  At least its air conditioned which is always the excuse Marlins fans give for their parks lack of attendance.   A passionate fanbase is what gives a team “sould” not simply the fact they don’t spend cash.

      • listen kid you dont live in the area so you WOULDNT KNOW that the trop is statistically in the worst area of all 30 stadiums. its got about 25k people within 30 minutes. 60-75 minutes has like 700k. move to hillsborogh/tampa and the fans will come. you on mega dummy status son!

  6. tacko 4 years ago

    Never realized how good Ben Zobrist’s stats have been the past few years until now.

  7. dirtydez 4 years ago

    Plz keep Upton and Shields!  AL East champs if you do!!

  8. NYBravosFan10 4 years ago

    I hope the Rays do well next year. Where I live is jam-packed with Yankee and Red Sox fans and seeing them all go nuts over how good their teams are all GD season is really annoying. I know you guys aren’t exactly rolling in the money but an impact trade or maybe a bargain free agent signing could do wonders for you. You’ve got a very solid young team and I’d love to see the Rays at the top of the AL East next year.

  9. 55saveslives 4 years ago

    Can they afford to keep Longoria?  He’s going to get PAID!!

    • baconz11 4 years ago

      they have team options on him through 2016…

      • 55saveslives 4 years ago

        Ahh thanks! I doubt he gives them another team friendly deal though  lol

    • Matt Moore 4 years ago

      Longoria for ARod?

      -Cashman

      • start_wearing_purple
        start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

        Are you high?

        -Friedman

      • Pete 4 years ago

        Funny thing is A-Rod’s one of those entirely un-movable contracts. The list of players he could be traded for is basically: Mauer, Crawford, Howard, Wells, Zito, Lackey, Soriano, Dunn & Werth. That’s it. Unless the Yanks want to kick in like $15MM a year to have him play elsewhere. He’s also got 5/10 rights, lol.

        Sorry Yanks, you messed up.

        • FS54 4 years ago

          Sorry I personally like Werth more than ARod. Is he gonna play OF for Nationals?

  10. tomymogo 4 years ago

    They should trade Upton for a 1B and bullpen help. Lucas Duda makes sense, maybe him and a prospect.

    Mets get a quality CF, and move Pagan to RF. They have Ike Davis, and Daniel Murphy as 1B options.

    • Pete 4 years ago

      Someone just proposed a Lucas Duda (0.9 WAR) for BJ Upton (4.1 WAR) deal. Wow, I cant even…

      I mean the reality is that the Mets gave up garbage disguised as “hot prospects” for Johan, and no sane team in MLB will ever fall for that again. The Rays are the most sane team in MLB.

      Face it, the Mets have absolutely nothing to offer anyone. Duda sucks.

      • Christopher Soto 4 years ago

        Well he doesnt “suck” as he got really hot towards the end of the year BUT yea that trade idea is garbage…..moving on.

      • tomymogo 4 years ago

        Sure ignore the fact that Upton will make 7 million next year and Duda just completed his rookie campaign. And Duda is a tremendous good looking young hitter. If he were a 1B his WAR would be much higher since his play in RF was the big factor in why his WAR was low. An 852 OPS in 100 games is pretty good if you ask me.

        Besides, I’m not a Mets fan, I’m a Braves fan, and I don’t think Upton can get a better return. Nat’s won’t give Morse, Ramos, Clippard, or Storen for Upton. Maybe Desmond, and to tell you the truth I prefer Brignac. Mets seem like a fit for Upton, since a) they can take his salary, and b) they can solve Rays problem in 1B.

        • 7million isnt a bank breaker for tampa believe it or not. i stopped reading your comment after i seen that. son you on DUMMY status!

          • tomymogo 4 years ago

            7 million is significant money. If they keep him, they can’t sign the players they need. If they trade him, they sign the players they need, get a decent return, and just move Jennings to CF to fill Upton’s void.

            Best option will be to trade him don’t you think?

  11. tomymogo 4 years ago

    David Price has a contract according to Cot’s which will pay him 2.433 million next year.

    If they non-tender Howell, and Sonnastine, then their payroll with Upton, Shields, and Farnsworth on the roster is about 30 million. If they trade Upton for say Lucas Duda making the league minimun, they’ll have around 10-15 million to spend this offseason for an outfielder and bullpen help. Not bad, they could sign a guy like Josh Willingham for around 7 mill/per yr, and guys like Joel Zumaya, George Sherril, Dan Wheeler, maybe Mike McDougal.

    Willingham could DH or play LF.

    • jtmorgan 4 years ago

      Price can opt out for arbitration since he’s a super2 and his arbitration is predicted to be around 5.9 Million.

      • tomymogo 4 years ago

        Didn’t know that. In that case Willingham can’t be signed. Maybe bring back Johnny Damon

    • NickinIthaca 4 years ago

      I know I’d be all about signing Joel Zumaya to take up a spot on the DL….

      • tomymogo 4 years ago

        He could be a high risk, high reward kind of signing. For less than a million it’s worth a shot don’t you think? Most of the Rays bullpen signings are like that, look for people who teams aren’t high on and give them a shot. Kyle Farnsworth is an example like that.

    • javywoz 4 years ago

      The Rays trading Upton to open up some salary may end up making sense, but they can get a much better return than Duda.

      • tomymogo 4 years ago

        Doubt it. How many teams are interested in Upton? He’ll make around 7 million, and it’s his final year of team control. Known interest: Nationals

        Nationals are offering Ian Desmond, how is that better than Lucas Duda who had an 852 OPS in 100 games as a rookie(in Citi field) and can can play 1B.

        Other options, Marlins(if they’re for real about spending $), and the Rangers(long shot). Gaby Sanchez, Mitch Moreland, and Logan Morrison are options but if they trade them for one year of Upton I lose what’s left of my respect for the Miami Marlins. In the Rangers case they need to offer more than just Moreland.

        • kid.. WHY do you post the SAME !!STUPID!! comment TWICE???? I DONT GET YOU? but i do know that you know NOTHING about RAYSBALL so go jerk it to the mets… DUMMY STATUS!!!!!!!!!!!

          • tomymogo 4 years ago

            Well then say something smart justifiying how a small market team should keep players in their final year of arbitration making decent money and with a better player already on their team in Jennings.

            And they are in need of a catcher, a SS, a DH, 2-3 relievers, and a 1B. With a 40 million dolar payroll can they fill all these holes when if they do keep Upton they’ll have around 34 million commited. You can’t fill all those holes with 6 million, you might with 13.

          • Aaron Haker 4 years ago

            Yet by filling that hole your creating another hole in the outfield, an even bigger hole.

          • tomymogo 4 years ago

            But now you have money to go to FA and acquire a LF. Jennings will take over CF. or you can just let Sam Fuld play everyday.

  12. Pete 4 years ago

    I’m so jealous of how well this team is run, front office and on the field. For my money if I could pick any manager to run my team, Maddon would be the man. If only they had any kind of a future in TB they’d just sign Papelbon & Fielder and dominate everyone. They will probably just bring back Damon and still somehow make the playoffs anyway.

    • were a magic team man thats all i can say… love my team thru think and thin. i wont like it when they inevitably stop contending, but ill still be a diehard.

  13. MooreGuerreriandcheese 4 years ago

    Jorge Posada for the DH spot. Upton to the Nats for Derek Norris, Chris Marrero and an arm or two. Sick it out with Sean Rodbrignac until Beckham gets his shot. If all SS fail then HJL is just one year away. Make a run at Ramon Hernandez for a two year deal to allow Norris some developmental time.

    • THIS IS THE FIRST INTELLIGENT IVE COME ACROSS! THANK YOU! YOU NOT DUMMY STATUS SON YOU ON WIZKID STATUS! and i want LoMo lol

  14. Alex 4 years ago

    Your mother wears army boots

  15. Christopher Soto 4 years ago

    As much as they want to have a DEEP rotation they are going to have to trade one of those guys. Perhaps inquiring the Yanks on the availability of one of their prized young catchers (Austin Romine or Jesus Montero) and SS Eduardo Nunez for SP Wade Davis can happen. Yanks are looking for good pitching, only one of those 2 young catchers can start once Martin is gone, and Jeter is implanted at SS, so it could work. Plus it frees up over $11M to make a run at a first baseman.

    • LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! son you on SUPADUPA DUMMY STATUS!!!!!!!!!1) davis isnt worth ANYTHING CLOSE to montero. 2) the rays OR yankees WILL NOT TRADE INSIDE THE DIVISION! do you watch baseball? or do you state at the TVwhen baseball happens to be on an droll like a dummy?

      • Christopher Soto 4 years ago

        Not only do I watch but i also play because i love the game so much that even after graduation from college I still get the itch to play competitively. 

        From a needs perspective the trade makes sense….The Rays have a surplus of Pitching, Yanks need a pitcher; the Yanks have a surplus of young catchers, the Rays need a young catcher. As for trading within the division, yes its rare but its not IMPOSSIBLE…..its not like we’re asking to trade Longoria for A-Rod here. (Which someone actually stupidly mentioned far above from this post)

    • Christopher Soto 4 years ago

      I stated either Montero OR Romine plus Nunez……I personally would take Romine. Why wouldnt this trade be at least feasibly possible. The Yanks need pitching, plain and simple, and have a surplus of catchers…..It makes sense from a needs stand-point

  16. What about Logan Morrison?  Trade Niemann, Cobb for him.  Answer the LF problem or even 1B.

  17. Despite the rumors of Andrew Friedman and the Angels, I think he’ll stay, that said, were in good hands. Now, if I was GM this is what I would do. Do you agree?
    1). Trade BJ Upton and James Shields for nearly ML ready prospects and a few ML ready players (total).
    2). Decline Kelly Shoppach’s option. Face it, his defense is good, but he can’t hit the ball.
    3). Re-sign Kotchman. One year deal, players like him are risky, see how he plays out. 
    4). Sign Grady Sizemore. I doubt the Indians pick-up his option and sign him to a 1 or 2 year deal with $4.5MM annually. He can’t really expect more than that after being injured most of the last two seasons, right?
    5). Starting rotation: Price, Hellickson, Davis, Niemann, Moore. 
    6). Make Cobb or Torres the closer, make the other a set-up man. Face it, Juan Cruz is gone, Joel Peralta, too. Possibly, anyways.
    7). Let Damon walk. He’s not worth $5MM a year and wasn’t worth the $7.5MM Boston paid him oh so many years ago.
    8). If Sizemore deal falls through, deal for LoMo? A lot of things would have to happen. If they ended up keeping Shields, trade any 2 of the combination for Niemann, Davis, Torres, Cobb.
    9). Sign Josh Willingham. This is of course a last resort if the supposed LoMo and Sizemore deals fall through.
    10). Sign Ryan Ludwick. Sign Sizemore too and use both as part-time LF/DH.

    DEPTH CHART
    1B – Kotchman
    2B – Zobrist, S-Rod
    SS – Brignac, S-Rod
    3B – Longoria, S-Rod
    LF – Sizemore, Ludwick, Guyer, Fuld
    CF: Jennings, Sizemore, Fuld
    RF: Joyce, Sizemore, Fuld
    C: Jaso, Chirinos, Lobaton
    DH: Ludwick, Sizemore
    Don’t forget the potential LoMo deal either. I know you see the word “sign” alot, but don’t be fooled, these aren’t big contracts. Sizemore nor Ludwick can expect a huge payday. Whaddya think? Lot’s of scenario’s…

    • Peralta isn’t gone; he’s still arbitration eligible, and Farnsworth has an option

  18. Hoosierdaddy92 4 years ago

    Interesting trade concept here for the Rays. What about BJ Upton and Wade Davis for Logan Morrison? Marlins could use a starter and good defensive OF and want to dump Morrison. LoMo has more Twitter followers than the Rays have for fans. Wouldn’t hurt them to add a guy that’s popular in Florida, hit for power, walks, and can play 1b/DH/LF.

  19. olmedo isnt on the rays? lol dummy status son

  20. Aaron Haker 4 years ago

    More along the lines of Montero not being worth Davis… Whats the deal with people being so high on him, he really doesnt even project as a catcher, more a career DH

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