Friedman Talks Pitching, Trades, Zobrist

When I asked Andrew Friedman how he’d assess the Rays’ starting pitching heading into 2013, he made his point pretty quickly. “It’s good,” he said. I caught up with Tampa Bay’s executive VP of baseball operations at the GM meetings in Indian Wells, California yesterday. Here are some of the details…

  • The Rays will consider trading starting pitching since they believe in listening to trade offers whenever possible. Still, they realize pitching depth can be fleeting. “The one thing that we’re very wary of is waking up one day and not being able to fill out a rotation in the American League East.”
  • The Rays could upgrade at a variety of positions with Jeff Keppinger and B.J. Upton hitting free agency and the versatile Ben Zobrist on the roster. “Our approach is to attack this with a very open mind and focus on guys that we want to acquire in a vacuum.” Once the Rays make one move, their focus will narrow depending on how the initial move affects their roster.
  • The Rays like having the flexibility to pursue players at many positions. “That being said, you can’t get paralyzed by the flexibility and end up in January with way too many things to accomplish,” Friedman said.
  • Friedman acknowledged that the Rays need position players and relievers. “We have a lot of things we need to accomplish without a ton of resources,” he said.

21 Responses to Friedman Talks Pitching, Trades, Zobrist Leave a Reply

  1. Casey McMahon 3 years ago

    If anyone can Ball on A Budget it is Andrew Friedman. He has built this team into a contender year after year since 2008.

    • Ben_Cherington 3 years ago

      It does help when you have a top 3 pick 13 consecutive years. But either way, I do think he is a good GM

      • Rangersalchamps 3 years ago

        Because Jennings, Cobb, Joyce, Zobrist, Shields, Moore, Hellickson, entire bullpen are all top picks? Lol nice try though, RS and Yankee fans say these things to make themselves feel better. Also the Rays recent picks in the draft are looking like studs. They drafted much lower recently

        • Ben_Cherington 3 years ago

          Year Pick #
          1999 1(Hamilton)
          2000 6
          2001 3
          2002 2 (Upton)
          2003 1
          2004 4 (Neiman)
          2005 8
          2006 3 (Longoria)
          2007 1 (Price)
          2008 1

          Yeah they had 10 consecutive years for top 8 pics. They have drafted much lowe recently due to thier top picks from previous years producing as they should!

          Nice try when rangers fan always assume yanks and sox fans use excuses….all you talked about all summer was how good the rangers where and how they had such a huge lead. I told you it wasnt over. Sucks doesnt it!

          • YarpNarp 3 years ago

            Dang it was fun watching Hamilton play for the Rays in 2008 and beyond

          • Ben_Cherington 3 years ago

            This is suck a ridiculous comment. Just showing what type of talent they drafted.

          • YarpNarp 3 years ago

            But the argument was fielding a competitive team during 2008 and beyond on a limited budget. The Hamilton addition is just trying to bolster your argument when he has no place in it.

          • Ben_Cherington 3 years ago

            The pick has a place in my argument, the name was just a reference to who it was. Regardless of who was drafted, my point is still valid. When you have a top pick for so many consecutive years, a team should have a good run at being a top team, due to top talent

  2. alan104 3 years ago

    The Rays are deep with pitching. C’mon Friedman, pull the trigger and make a deal to improve the offense. Way too many games were lost due to futile/putrid hitting. Time to get some bats!

  3. javywoz 3 years ago

    Rays #1 priority needs to be finding a middle of the order 1B bat. Everything else can fall in place after that. The Rays simply can’t go into another season where Longo is the only “major” threat in that lineup.

    • John 3 years ago

      Kendrys Morales or Mark Trumbo of the Angels seem to fit, and they need starting pitching.

  4. sheldonman14 3 years ago

    Adam Lind for one of the Rays starter? Trust me, Lind is really good. :)

    • javywoz 3 years ago

      Ha, you know that a real trade offer will come sometime today from a Jays fan touting Lind though. They still don’t get that no one wants their trash.

      • LukeNalooshe 3 years ago

        I think we get it. that was more of a joke as I understand it.

  5. jammin502 3 years ago

    The Cubs and Rays have danced recently in the trade market, and maybe they match up again? The Cubs could use a young controllable pitcher that is major league ready, and the Rays could use a First baseman +. The Cubs have Bryan LaHair who is caught behind Rizzo but was an All Star in 2012. They also have guys like Brett Jackson, Junior Lake, etc that could be moved for the right return. On the Rays side, you’d have to think that Moore and Price are untouchable, and Shields would be better suited to go to a contender. That could leave Hellickson, Cobb, and Archer as pitchers that the Cubs could be interested in.

    • javywoz 3 years ago

      The Rays wouldn’t really want anything to do with LaHair. A 30 year old 1B who has to be sat vs LHP isn’t really a key peice for Hellickson (or Cobb). The Cubs could certainly offer fair value (Brett Jackson is a good peice), but I think realistically at this point the Rays need a major league bat if they’re trading pitching, and the players the Rays would want (Rizzo / Castro), there’s no way the Cubs should give up.

      • jammin502 3 years ago

        If you look at the Rays depth chart, Zobrist is the starter at 1B, 2B, and SS. They have some holes to fill. If they are as cheap as it sounds they might be, the free agent market is nothing for them. So how many teams have 2 major league ready 1st basemen that they can trade from? How many are priced right? Maybe they can get a Aubrey Huff type on the cheap, but not sure. I don’t know if the Cubs match up, but I am sure Theo and Jed are keeping the line of communication open.

        • javywoz 3 years ago

          Finding cheap middle infielders can be done, especially since the Rays could bring back SRod or Ryan Roberts if they really wanted for 2B (or Keppinger). LaHair isn’t a bad peice for a team that has a RHB that can fill in at 1b verse left handers. Unfortunately for the Rays, they currently don’t really have anybody at 1B, so if they traded for Lahair, they would still need to find another 1B. Lahair’s not a bad peice, he certainly has shown he can hit right-handers, just don’t think the Rays match up. I guess that doesn’t mean a trade can’t happen, just that my personal opinion is that it’s unlikely.

  6. vtadave 3 years ago

    Lind had 5 hits in his last three games. 2010-2012 are outliers. 2009’s performance is what you can expect going forward.

  7. Commander_Nate 3 years ago

    Ben Zobrist: The Kama Sutra of baseball players.

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