Rays 2013/2014 off season

drtooth

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The Rays took care of the easy part of their off-season Saturday, picking up options on 2B Ben Zobrist and SS Yunel Escobar.
   Zobrist, who has been one of their most valuable and versatile players, will make $7-million in 2014; there was a $2.5-million buyout. The Rays also hold a 2015 option for $7.5-million as part of a six-year deal Zobrist signed in April 2010.
  Escobar, acquired last off-season from Miami, which got him from Toronto, will make $5-million in 2014, same as last season. The Rays also hold a 2015 option for $5-million.
   The Rays have to decide by Sunday night on a $6.5-million option on OF David DeJesus, or pay a $1.5-million buyout; and on Monday on a $2-million option on RHP Juan Carlos Oviedo or a $30,000 buyout.
 
 
http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/rays/
 
The story of this off-season will be the future of David Price.  Friedman has been know to ask for the moon and the stars in these deals, so it will be interesting as what he asks for for Price.  They will also need to figure the futures of Fernando Rodney (likely gone) and James Loney.
 

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The Rays picked up DeJesus' option last night and supposedly are deep in negotiations on a multi-year deal. He seems like a good fit for them. Can cover all the outfield positions, runs well, will probably see some time as their LH DH now that that bum Scott will be gone. 
 
 
Here's a full rundown of contract status for the upcoming year:
 
Free agents: RHP Roberto Hernandez, DH/OF Luke Scott, RHP Fernando Rodney, 1B Loney, CJose Molina, IF/OF Kelly Johnson, RHP Jesse Crain, RHP Jamey Wright, DH/OF Delmon Young.
Arbitration-eligible: LHP David Price ($10.11 million in 2013), RHP Jeff Niemann ($3 million), OFMatt Joyce ($2.45 million), OF/IF Sean Rodriguez ($1 million), OF Sam Fuld ($725,000), LHPJake McGee ($506,200), RHP Jeremy Hellickson ($503,000), LHP Cesar Ramos ($501,300), CChris Gimenez (NA), LHP Wesley Wright ($1.025 million), C Jose Lobaton ($496,500).
Club options: 2B Ben Zobrist ($7.25 million club option, $2.5 million buyout), David DeJesus ($6.5 million, $1.5 million), Escobar ($5 million), Juan Carlos Oviedo ($2 million, $30,000).
 

drtooth

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DeJesus signs contract extension.
 
http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/rays/dejesus-extension-done-less-in-14-105-million-guaranteed/2151098
 
 
 The Rays and OF David DeJesus completed the contract extension they were working on, and the bottom line is that DeJesus agreed to take less money in 2014 for more overall - $10.5-million guaranteed.
DeJesus will make $4.25-million in 2014 - less than his $6.5-million option - but also gets a $250,000 signing bonus, plus a $5-million contract for 2015 and a $5-million option or a $1-million buyout for 2016.
In short, DeJesus agreed to take $2-million less in 2014 in return for at least $4-million more, and possibly $8-million more if the 2016 option in exercised, by signing the extension.
 

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Pretty good deal all around. DeJesus is a Rays-level free agent, he's versatile, they got to see him up close for a few months and are convinced he's a hard worker who takes good care of himself. They lock in 3 years if he's playing well enough for them to trigger that final year option. He's definitely an upgrade over Sam Fuld.
 

Hoplite

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Boras has a point, Tampa Bay is a terrible baseball town. My top three candidates for an expansion would be Charlotte, Portland and Austin. If Tampa Bay was moved and two expansion cities were added, that would give each league an even amount of teams which would fix scheduling issues.
 

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It's really shocking that the cattle thief is criticizing the rancher who keeps his fences mended and his herd well-guarded, isn't it?

Boras feeds off the stupidity of prodigal front offices across baseball. Nobody has done more than the Rays to show that there is a path to success that does not go through his overpriced free agents.

There are valid criticisms of the TB market, to be sure, but the team is profitable, has increased significantly in value since Stu took over, gets great TV ratings and will be due for a nice bump in TV $$ once their current broadcast deal expires in a couple of years.

Selfishly, I'd love to see them in Brooklyn. However, Boras railing on them year after year because their way of doing business is an existential threat to his parasitic way of life and suggesting they should move to NJ so he can convert more taxpayer dollars into his commissions is simply galling and should be an affront to all men of good morals and conscience.
 

Hoplite

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VORP Speed said:
It's really shocking that the cattle thief is criticizing the rancher who keeps his fences mended and his herd well-guarded, isn't it?

Boras feeds off the stupidity of prodigal front offices across baseball. Nobody has done more than the Rays to show that there is a path to success that does not go through his overpriced free agents.

There are valid criticisms of the TB market, to be sure, but the team is profitable, has increased significantly in value since Stu took over, gets great TV ratings and will be due for a nice bump in TV $$ once their current broadcast deal expires in a couple of years.

Selfishly, I'd love to see them in Brooklyn. However, Boras railing on them year after year because their way of doing business is an existential threat to his parasitic way of life and suggesting they should move to NJ so he can convert more taxpayer dollars into his commissions is simply galling and should be an affront to all men of good morals and conscience.
 
He's not criticizing the owners (this time). He's criticizing the fans for not showing up, and he has a point.
 

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Hoplite said:
 
He's not criticizing the owners (this time). He's criticizing the fans for not showing up, and he has a point.
 
That's like saying Al Qaeda has a point in criticizing the NSA spying program. They may indeed have a point in a vacuum, but their motivation in making that point is so self-interested and counter to the objective rationale for advocating that position that citing them as support for that point does nothing to advance the argument.
 

Hoplite

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VORP Speed said:
 
That's like saying Al Qaeda has a point in criticizing the NSA spying program. They may indeed have a point in a vacuum, but their motivation in making that point is so self-interested and counter to the objective rationale for advocating that position that citing them as support for that point does nothing to advance the argument.
 
The lack of fan support in Tampa Bay is an issue regardless of what Boras says.
 

drtooth

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Rays sign former Reds C Ryan Hannigan .  3 yrs, $10.75M as part of a trade with the Reds.  It looks like Heath Bell is part of the trade as a 3 team deal (involving the D-Backs as well).  The Rays give up minor leaguer Justin Choate and a PTBNL to Arizona as part of the deal  Bell has a huge salary--$9M with an option for 2015 with 55 appearances.  Someone has to be taking on some of the salary here.
 

drtooth

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Marc Topkin is reporting that it appears that C Jose Lobaton is heading to the White Sox, although that has yet to be confirmed.
 

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Rays are only going to be paying half of Bell's salary, supposedly, and have told him he'll get a shot at closing. Hanigan is apparently a master pitch framer and calls a great game, has a good OBP and no power whatsoever. 
 

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Tim Beckham has torn an ACL (no word how) and is going to miss most of '14.

https://mobile.twitter.com/TBTimes_Rays/status/411630964624723968?screen_name=TBTimes_Rays

It's just one thing after another with this guy. Him over Posey was an epically bad call.
 

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Love the Loney move. He's been a great fit and it seems like a sensible deal. Even if he regresses a bit from last season, his defense is outstanding and it's hard to see the Rays finding significantly superior production at that position on their budget.
You know MLB is awash in cash when even the Rays are throwing a little bit of money around here and there.
 

drtooth

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A few odds and ends transactions over the past week.
 
Rays sign 1B/OF Jerry Sands (he of the Punto trade) off waivers from Pitt.
 
Rays sign LHP Jordan Norberto to a minor league deal.  He still has to serve a 50 game suspension from Biogenesis scandal.
 
Rays release 1B Leslie Anderson so he can play in Asia.
 

soxhop411

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According to sources, the #Rays are acquiring Logan Forsythe from the #Padres in a 4-player trade: http://sbn.to/1ap6mBH 
 
The Tampa Bay Rays have acquired Logan Forsythe from the San Diego Padres in a four-player trade, according to a league source. Alex Torres is likely headed to San Diego in the deal, and each team seems set to receive an additional prospect.
 
The trade is likely to be announced on Friday, according to league sources with knowledge of the situation.
 
As we reported yesterday, the Padres had received calls from "a number of teams" who were interested in acquiring the versatile Forsythe. Jon Morosi of FOXSports.com noted that the Yankees were a realistic destination for him before the Rays became aggressive in recent days.
 
In 75 games in 2013, Forsythe hit .214 with 6 HR and 19 RBI in his third major league season. . The 27-year old appeared at five positions—third base, shortstop, second base, left field, and right field—for the Padres last year and will likely serve as a super-utility player for Tampa next year. He is a lifetime .241 hitter with 12 HR and 57 RBI in 228 career games.
 
Torres, seems likely to be headed to the Padres, who have been pursuing left-handed relief help in recent weeks. The 26-year old was 4-2 with a 1.71 ERA in 58 innings with the Rays last season, and will join a Padres bullpen that already added Joaquin Benoit earlier in the offseason
 

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Torres for Forsythe doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense for the Rays. Presumably there are some prospects of value coming back to the Rays as well, otherwise kind of a head-scratcher. Either that or the Rays think his 3 month stretch of having conquered his control issues was a complete and utter fluke.
 

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Full trade per MLB Trade Rumors:
 
The Rays and Padres have both announced a seven-player deal that sends lefty reliever Alex Torres and right-hander Jesse Hahn to the Padres in exchange for Forsythe, right-hander Brad Boxberger, minor league right-handers Matt Andriese and Matt Lollis, and minor league second baseman Maxx Tissenbaum.
 
 
Seems a little more balanced…no stud prospects, but a volume of lottery tickets who have shown varying level of promise, in addition to Forsythe, who will roam around the diamond and get a decent number of at bats against lefties, I guess. Seems pretty clear the Rays thought Torres was a bit lucky last year. 
 

drtooth

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Rays trade C Jose Lobaton , LHP Felipe Rivero (9-7 in Class A) and 2010 1st round pick OF Drew Vettleson for RHP Nate Karns
 
http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/rays/rays-send-lobaton-2-others-to-nats-for-rhp-karns/2165402
 
 
 
"Karns, 26, spent the majority of the 2013 season with Double-A Harrisburg, going 10-6 with a 3.26 ERA (132.2-IP, 48-ER) and 155 strikeouts in 23 starts.  He ranked among Nationals minor league leaders in wins (10, tied for fourth), strikeouts (155, second) and ERA (3.26, fourth).  Karns also made three starts with the Nationals, including his major league debut on May 28 vs. Baltimore.  Following the season, he was ranked by ESPN.com's Keith Law as the No. 4 prospect in the Nationals system, and by Baseball America as the organization's No. 9 prospect.

Over three minor league seasons, Karns is 24-12 with a 2.66 ERA (304-IP, 90-ER) in 60 games (54 starts).  He has averaged 10.7 strikeouts per nine innings pitched and opponents have hit only .194 against him.  He was named the Nationals Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2012, going 11-4 with an organizational-best 2.17 ERA (116-IP, 28-ER) and 148 strikeouts in 24 games (18 starts) between Class-A Potomac and Class-A Hagerstown.  A 12th-round selection in the 2009 June Draft out of Texas Tech University, he did not pitch professionally until 2011 due to right shoulder surgery."
 

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Lobaton was surplus to requirements after acquiring Hanigan, so flipping him for what sounds like a reasonable pitching prospect seems like a good deal. Karns' calling card is a nasty curve.