Rays Continue Eyeing Bats

The Rays announced their one-year deal with Luke Scott today, but they haven't finished tweaking the offense, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. Executive VP of baseball operations Andrew Friedman says the Rays have "a long list" of hitters they're considering.

Casey Kotchman and Carlos Pena are among the free agent first base options the team could pursue, but Friedman said the Rays won't necessarily add a first baseman. Scott has experience at first base, a position that's easier on his shoulder than the outfield. Friedman told Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio that it's unlikely Johnny Damon will re-sign in Tampa Bay and explained that he'd prefer to acquire a first baseman (Twitter links).

The Rays, who finished eighth in the American League with 707 runs scored last year, have signed Scott and Jose Molina this offseason, as MLBTR's Transaction Tracker shows.


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25 Comments on "Rays Continue Eyeing Bats"


joeybw
3 years 7 months ago

I want Pena.

3 years 7 months ago

I bet their payroll is higher than what they expected it to be this year.  I wouldn’t be surprised if they got their last bat through some sort of trade.

joeybw
3 years 7 months ago

Trumbone

diesel2410
3 years 7 months ago

Honestly, I wouldn’t be too surprised if they signed Pena AND traded for another bat

joeybw
3 years 7 months ago

Problem with trades is that out boy genius Friedman hates HATES trading his prospects so we can’t get anyone too good.

diesel2410
3 years 7 months ago

We have Wade Davis and BJ Upton just waiting to be traded

johnsmith4
3 years 7 months ago

Yep, I think you are on to something.  It also sounds like Rays need to move a SP (Davis or Niemann) and want to move Upton instead of lose him to free agency.  Rays might want to avoid the $12.5mil qualifying arb offer required for draft pick compensation.  Maybe a trade with Nationals for Morse.  Especially if Nationals sign Fielder.

3 years 7 months ago

Bring back Pena!!!

diesel2410
3 years 7 months ago

One more bat makes a deep postseason run more likely

3 years 7 months ago

Rays Continue Eyeing Bats, what is this window shopping?

I will tell you what would be an interesting trade.
Kotchman and Carlos Pena are kind of boring free agent acquisitions, so how about this. Why don’t the Rays make a trade with the Royals?  Rays trade one of their pitchers and the Royals give Billy Butler in return. I also know this might be a bit improbable since Scott was signed. However, Billy much too young to be a DH fulltime and he’s an excellent hitter. The Royals get another pitcher to help them challenge for at least a wildcard spot. It would work out for both teams.

3 years 7 months ago

It’s possible.  Scott is capable of playing 1B in around end of April or May.  Billy Butler may be able to play for the first month and then swtich to a DH role when Scott is healthy enough to play 1B, since I dont think the Rays will be too comfortable having Butler play first, given their views on excellent defense.  Then again, hows Luke Scott’s defensive abilities at first?

jwsox
3 years 7 months ago

He can’t play defense and doesn’t really hit for
Power. Yes he hits for average, gets on base and hits a bunch if doubles but he power has never developed which sucks. He essentially is kotchman but kotchman can Play really good defense. The rays could get a better over all player for one of their pitchers.

javywoz
3 years 7 months ago

This is a good evaluation.  Both Butler and Kotchman had similar slash lines last year, but Kotchman actually had a higher WAR value because of his defense.  While if I was to bet, I would wager on Butler having the better 2012, but likely marginally at best.  And if you take into account the $8 million that Butler will earn, plus the pitcher/prospects it would take to get him verse the $3-4 million it will take to sign Kotchman, doesn’t make a lot of sense for the Rays.

hgr900
3 years 7 months ago

Ozzie Guillen just tweeted- “My man juan pierce no job ? U kidding me?”   1) I hope he’s not talking about Juan Pierre 2) How could you listen to this guy as a coach

3 years 7 months ago

If Pena doesn’t mind DHing I would say sign both.

I wonder if any reluctancy to DH is also causing Pena’s market to drag into January.

3 years 7 months ago

Why would Pena play DH? He’s an excellent defensive 1B. I think it’s Prince Fielder that’s dragging the market into Jan. Once he signs, I think Pena will sign someplace afterwards to a team who also need a 1B (although, it seems that the market for Fielder isn’t as strong as was initially believed to be).

diesel2410
3 years 7 months ago

Scott will pretty much be the full time DH. Still have a hole at 1B. Signing Pena would be great or trading for a guy like Trumbo

tellrodt
3 years 7 months ago

Pena’s glove is waaaaaaay to good to be a DH.  He’s a gold glover, man.  He’s only knock is the lack of avg. otherwise he’d be a top 5 1B, easily.

3 years 7 months ago

Trade a top 3 pitcher for 4-5 MILB guys! (again)  :-(  sadly I think the Rays are done signing

joeybw
3 years 7 months ago

Rays will one more “big” signing in my man Carlos Pena. The rest of their signings will be the normal Friedman depth signings. Bunch of RP’s and infielders to play in AAA in case of injury. I know that we are for some reason still in for Cordero but if we sign him, Pena becomes a sad dream.

3 years 7 months ago

Better than them Continuing to Eye Balls…

diehardmets
3 years 7 months ago

Pena and Kotchman are really the only two remaining options for them. The OF is locked up, as is 3B and 2B. There are no SS upgrades available. The only 1B that would make sense for them is Trumbo, but the Angels are being beyond dumb with his trade value. I personally would go for Pena. He can play great defense and is a consistent 25-30 HR bat.

CF Upton
LF Jennings
3B Longoria
1B Pena
2B Zobrist
RF Joyce
DH Scott
C Whoever
SS Rodriguez/Brignac

With their pitching and that lineup, I could see them making a deep postseason run.

101andCounting
3 years 7 months ago

Is Chirinos going to be catching for the Rays this year? I saw him at ST a couple years ago with the Cubs and always thought he had some serious potential. 

javywoz
3 years 7 months ago

I would add Derrek Lee as the only other option at first.  The question for him is whether the Lee that played for the O’s (.706 OPS) will be the one that will show up, or the one that played for the Pirates (.982).

diesel2410
3 years 7 months ago

I like Pena’s defense more. And he’s always been a great leader and clubhouse guy. AND he’s already played here before, so we know what we’re getting out of him