The Rays have noticed the Royals’ aggressive approach at the plate, writes Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. President of baseball operations Matt Silverman noted the past trend towards plate patience which aimed at knocking out the opposing starter as early as possible. Now teams have taken a more aggressive tack in response to elite bullpens. “Today bullpens are incredibly formidable and a number of teams are adjusting and taking a more aggressive approach throughout and trying to hit the strikes they see.”
Here’s more from the Rays:
- Topkins expects the Rays payroll to decline in 2016. He views the $72MM spent in 2015 as a ceiling. Since the club has 11 arbitration eligible players, it would seem they may need to cut costs in other areas. Asdrubal Cabrera‘s one-year, $7.5MM deal is the only major contract coming off the books.
- By qualifying for Super Two status, Rays ace Chris Archer has locked in a $25.5MM guarantee. Archer signed a six-year contract extension at the start of the 2014 season. If he had failed to qualify for arbitration this offseason, the guarantee on his deal would have reduced to $20MM.
- Rays vice president Chaim Bloom is expected to remain with the club after interviewing for a couple open GM positions. However, Bloom has been increasingly linked to GM openings, so it wouldn’t surprise me if the Blue Jays considered him with regard to their newly vacated position. That’s only my speculation. The Rays are also likely to promote internally to fill the position left by former director of pro scouting Matt Arnold.