Rays Notes: Pitching, Kotchman, Damon, Friedman

Andrew Friedman spoke with the media today about the Rays' plans heading into the Winter Meetings.  Here are some highlights, courtesy of Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times

  • Friedman stuck to only discussing the Rays and declined to comment on his connection to the Astros' open general manager's job.  The Astros have permission to speak to Friedman and he is thought to be their top candidate.
  • The Rays' are looking for help at DH and first base, so free agents Casey Kotchman and Johnny Damon are "very much in the discussion" to be brought back, Friedman said.
  • The club isn't looking to deal one of its eight starting pitchers but if one was dealt, Friedman says it would be for Major League players that could contribute right away.  Topkin writes that there has "been heavy interest" in Tampa Bay's pitching from other teams.
  • Reid Brignac, Elliot Johnson and Sean Rodriguez are expected to handle shortstop, so Tampa Bay isn't looking to bring in another player for the position.
  • Friedman is open to adding catching depth but isn't sure it will be available.  The catching job will be split between the newly-signed Jose Molina and either Robinson Chirinos or Jose Lobaton.
  • Since the Rays want to add to their offense, it doesn't seem likely that B.J. Upton will be traded this winter.

42 Responses to Rays Notes: Pitching, Kotchman, Damon, Friedman Leave a Reply

  1. Will BJ Upton get Rays two 1st round picks?  If he turns down 1/12m arb offer by Rays, will he be able to get a contract worth 5/50 if he gets better number in 2011 as he had a career low BABIP last season?  If then it would be smart to keep him, hoping to have some FA magic production from him.. as his value in trade market probably not equivalent of two 1st round picks I guess.

  2. WrigleyTerror37 4 years ago

    Soriano!!!! And 30 mil to the Rays for Hak-Hu Lee!!

    • Soriano would still be an overpaid mediocrity if you took $30 million off his deal.

      • WrigleyTerror37 4 years ago

        well how much would u think the cubs should pay? hes under contract for 3years/54 mil. i say the cubs eat 30 mil so they rays get 3 years of Soriano for 24mil so basically 8mil a year, plus he would be in the Al so his defense wouldnt kill you.

        • Holy smokes, you weren’t joking? Soriano could be signed to the minimum and he wouldn’t be worth Lee. One of the top five shortstop prospects in baseball is worth a lot more than a guy who can’t play defense and shouldn’t bat higher than seventh for a contender.

          • WrigleyTerror37 4 years ago

            i know Lee is top 5. that was the one guy i didnt want to give up in the Garza deal. thats why i threw this offer out for kicks.

            Edit: put Le instead of Lee

            Now i know he cant play defense which is why a DH role might help him. And trust me being a cubs fan i know he doesn’t deserve to bat in he 1-5 spots. he was alright in the 6 spot last year. So Basically your not telling me any new information here.

            Side not i said for Lee because i like the guy, and the post said that “Reid Brignac, Elliot Johnson and Sean Rodriguez are expected to handle shortstop” now i know thats not for the future but those guys shoule hold the fort for a couple of years, and you dont wanna waste Lee in the Minors. But you never know what the Rays will do.

          • The Rays might take Soriano, but you will have to pay 20 million of his remaining contract and send over Castro.  Then it might make sense. 

          • WrigleyTerror37 4 years ago

            funny joke about Castro, moving on… 

  3. Trading BJ Upton (most overrated player in the known and unknown universe) is adding to the offense.

    • Having a 4+ WAR CF for 6m does not seem like overrated nor overprice for me. 

      • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

        they’ve got one of those in jennings. trade upton and give left field to guyer imo

        • Onetimeaccount 4 years ago

          I’d rather sign him to an extension and have both Upton and Jennings, and platoon Joyce and Guyer.

    • Most frustrating player in the universe isn’t the same as most overrated. People (correctly) talk about his enormous talent, but is anyone out there actually claiming his performance has been great?

      • johnsilver 4 years ago

        Was wondering myself how keeping Upton in the lineup would help any lineup.. Much less pay him 6-7m area via arbitration.

        If they can find any GM in their right mind to give anything up for him and quite a few seem to think he is actually worth something for some reason, even though he has done a nose spiral at the plate ever since 2007.. Would seem Friedman would be happy to unload him.

        • Because the offensive bar is set pretty low for centerfielders? Because he’s a very, very good defensive centerfielder? Because his stats–while disappointing and not terribly good–came in baseball’s toughest division, in the harder league?

          I don’t love the guy, but there’s a case to be made for his value.

          • johnsilver 4 years ago

            Yet people like Crisp sat on another AL east team’s bench a few years back with his glove, speed hit everything but the power the same now and have FAR superior pitch selection skills.

            Why would a team want to give up much for Upton rather than just sign crisp and get in many ways a better all around player? not to mention, probably cheaper in the LT and controllable for more than a year and one who does not suffer lapses in game intensity, but in crisp, one who plays the game hard from the 1st pitch on?

            Just throwing the Crisp comparison out there since he is a viable FA option.

            The only things Upton has really better on him are age, his arm strength and power, everything else swings to crisp

          • Crisp is 5 years older and has almost 1000 more PA than Upton.  Yet he has a lower OBP and Slg.  He has fewer HR, only 17 more SB and his BB% is 7.6 compared to 11.9 for Upton.  Upton’s ISO in this 3 healthy seasons has been .186+.  Crisp’s career high is .165 and .130 for his career. 

            Upton is 5 years younger, with significantly more power and better on base skills, while also being an above average defender at a premium position.  He is a superior player to Crisp. 

          • johnsilver 4 years ago

            In no way would say Upton is a better overall defender at CF. Better arm? (by far) sure, but not a better overall defender and especially for anyone one that has ever watched Crisp on a long term basis grace CF.

            He gets reads on balls as good as anyone have ever seen and not only at CF, but L and RF as well.

            The area of future compensation was left out also.. Crisp will be signing a more than likely multi year contract soon and Upton, skills regressing (offensively) since 2007 has had his salary increasing every year, plus will be signing that 1 year contract this year and going somewhere else next year, regardless of who he is playing for.. A 1 year team “rental” for lack of other words.

            Crisp is a safe bet, you know what you will be getting and that is not a player on the decline, but someone who goes out on the field every single day and plays with a fiery attitude who will do their best to beat you in every way, which is something else that Upton has been known to lack on occasion.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            not sure i can agree that he’s “very, very good” in center. UZR has him a couple runs above average, but DRS and +/- have him several below

            he’s a valuable guy, but one i think they really ought to trade now with jennings & guyer in the fold

          • Oh, I won’t argue that for a minute. And again, Upton annoys me to no end as a baseball fan. But he does have value, even if it’s much, much less than he should have with his talent.

      • Upton has been worth 4-5 WAR every season of his career except in 2009.  That is the season after Labrum surgery that cost him the entire off season and spring training.  He will still only be 27 next year. 

        BJ Upton’s average fWAR for his four healthy seasons has been 4.4.  McCutchen’s average has been 4.3.  McCutchen is widely considered one of the top CF and young players in the game today.  Upton is considered overrated and a waste of talent.  Why is this??

        • Because Upton puts up mediocre hitting lines while possessing elite tools. I understand the frustration, even if he gets underrated by his detractors. 

    • If you exclude 2009, the season after surgery for a torn labrum which cost him the entire off season and spring training, Upton has been more valuable than McCutchen.  How is this the most overrated player? 

  4. Jacob Viets 4 years ago

    I would like to see Tampa bring back Kotchman. Not so much Damon, but if the price is low I could deal with it.

    I realize it’s not probable but I like the idea of a Jesus Montero for James Shields, David Price, Matt Moore, or Jeremy Hellickson trade for both sides. I think Montero can contribute right away for the Rays and the Yankees need pitching help so it would benefit both. Plus the Yankees could show loyalty and bring back Posada to DH and Romine’s coming up so not much depth is lost at the position. The Rays also have 8 Starting Pitchers so it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world for them either.

    Thank God B.J. wont be traded. He is due for a career year soon and his potential is enormous.

    • cyberboo 4 years ago

      For any starting pitcher to go to the Yankees, it is going to cost a lot more than just Montero, who is still an untested player.  Sample sizes mean nothing and everyone can get a better reading on a player after their first year in the majors.  Factor in that Tampa Bay doesn’t trade players that can come back to hurt them within the division and that eliminates Boston, New York, Toronto, and Baltimore from Tampa’s starting pitcher scenario.

      • Jacob Viets 4 years ago

        Like I said it’s not probable but it sure seems like it would be nice!

  5. stl_cards16 4 years ago

    The new CBA makes players like Upton a lot more likely to be traded the winter before his last year under contract begins. Now that any team that acquires him mid-season won’t be able to get compensation for him if he walks as a free-agent. His value is much higher now than after the season starts.

    • Under new CBA, protected 1st round picks are limited to top 10 picks instead top 15 picks.  So probably best return would be keeping him as no one is going to offer Rays higher than potential two 1st round picks which can go as high as 11th pick in 2013 draft.  

      • stl_cards16 4 years ago

        It wouldn’t be two first round picks, but I see your point. Maybe Upton wasn’t the best example, especially since the Rays believe they will be competing and his value isn’t too high.

        With the new CBA any team that acquires a player mid-season cannot get draft pick compensation for him if he leaves as a free agent.  This makes free agent to be players(that are worth offering the $12MM to) a lot more valuable the season before his final year starts.

  6. jmits90 4 years ago

    A questions for a Rays fan, does a Ike Davis for Hellickson swap see
    reasonable? Maybe a couple of other spots being exchanged.

    • As a Mets fan, I think the Rays would be wildly overpaying. I like Davis, but he’s a solid everyday first baseman if everything works out, and he’s coming off a lost year. If everything works out for Hellickson, he’s a near-front of the rotation starter, and he’s coming off a year of being a solid starter.

    • Probably not.  I think the best you could realistically get is Wade Davis or Jeff Niemann, maybe Alex Cobb. Not sure if that’d be enough, though.

  7. I still think A.J. Pierysnski or however you spell is name, will join the Rays this season. We all know he will get less playing time with Flowers ready, Plus the rays are in a much better position than the rebuilding Sox.

  8. mgsports 4 years ago

    No way the Mets Trade that guy.

    • Davis? If the Rays actually offered Hellickson for Davis, Alderson would drive him to Tampa personally.

  9. rjc 4 years ago

    Very disappointing to see we’re not making any moves at shortstop.  Brignac is slick with a glove, but can’t hit to save his life with that terrible uppercut swing of his.  S Rod just hasn’t proven himself, so I hope he does something in 2012.  Molina isn’t really an upgrade over Shoppach either, other than the fact that he may hit over .200.  I’m okay with bringing Kotchman and Damon back, but we just need some offense to get over the top in 2012!

    • Molina’s all about the game calling, framing pitches, throwing out runners, and mentoring the younger guys on the above skills; him being better offensively wasn’t really part of the equation.

  10. Are you sure? If that free agent signs with another team, the other team “will give up its first-round pick, unless it picks in the top ten”, in which case it will give up its second-round pick. The original team “will also gain a supplemental pick between the first and second rounds.” In the event that there are multiple such picks, the teams will draft in reverse order of winning percentage.

    There is no more Type A/Bs.  Only if player is offered arb offer more than average of top 125 paid players, and if player turns it down then whoever signs him will give up their 1st round pick plus previous team will also gain supplemental pick.  

    It says still provides two picks…. I guess what I read is little old then..?

  11. If that free agent signs with another team, the other team “will give up its first-round pick, unless it picks in the top ten”, in which case it will give up its second-round pick. The original team “will also gain a supplemental pick between the first and second rounds.” In the event that there are multiple such picks, the teams will draft in reverse order of winning percentage.
    This is from SB Nation article.. This is not true?  

    Maybe the article was wrong and old dated then..

  12. stl_cards16 4 years ago

    A pick between the first and second round is not a first round pick. Also,all that is assuming he will have a decent enough season for the Rays to feel comfortable offering him 13MM/yr

  13. I understand it as second round pick part is about if team who is not top 10 signs the guy then give away their 1st round pick, plus gain a suppl pick between first and second.

    This really confuses me.. Anyone has direct rink to official CBA listing?

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