Rays executive VP of baseball operations Andrew Friedman was interviewed on 620-WDAE radio on Thursday, and Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times has a few of the interview's highlights…
- The team is "a little uncomfortable" in pairing an inexperienced catcher like Jose Lobaton or Robinson Chirinos alongside veteran Jose Molina, but Friedman thinks the Rays' catching situation has been upgraded from 2011. The Rays looked at a few different catchers this winter but, aside from Molina, weren't able to work out a deal with any of them. The 36-year-old Molina has spent much of his 12-year career as a backup, reaching the 245-plate appearance plateau just twice in his career.
- Friedman was very pleased with the fact that the Rays were able to add hitting and bullpen depth without giving up a starting pitcher or making a move that would hurt the team's defense. "If you had told me then where we stand now with upgrading where we did and also maintaining our depth in the meantime, I would have said that that was a dream scenario,'' Friedman said. "We still have a lot of work to do in terms of this division and this league, but as far within the scope of what we can do, this off-season worked out very well in our estimation.’’
- Friedman expects Joe Maddon to remain in Tampa Bay for years to come. Topkin reported two weeks ago that Maddon and the Rays are expected to announce a three-year contract extension for the manager before the start of Spring Training.