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 Watching the Rays...get dismantled, Are they still a threat?
Free Agent Blogger
Posted: Jan 7 2011, 08:39 PM


Moonlighting News Bot


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I wouldn't call it dismantling, I would call it changing of the guard. They've lost three big players and several smaller chips but have players with bright futures to replace then except Soriano. To me, the only downside is that it is rare that rookies, even good rookies rarely perform at anywhere near peak in their first year. This is particularly true of pitchers. This team will be very tough very soon. Hopefully, very soon isn't 2011. They are positioned for the future far better than the MFY in spite of the monetary resource difference.

Here's Gammons take and it's a pretty good one. Gammons is one of the few MLB level writers that also understands the MiLB and it's role.

Gammons


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The smallest writing on the sign: "Also, the bridge is out ahead".
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Offbase
Posted: Jan 7 2011, 10:17 PM


Living Free in the Granite State


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QUOTE (rominer @ Jan 7 2011, 08:13 PM)
2-3 year windows aren't so bad – but they do require everything to come together at the right time. If it doesn't all come together, maybe it's 2-3 years of 80-88 wins. That's a solid showing, but it's not the same as the 3 year window that they just completed.

They do seem to know what they're doing these days, not all like the old Devil Rays. That helps. But I'm not sure the next window necessarily sustains the kind of spending that this window did:

2007 (when they were still bad): $ 24,123,500
2008 (first year of the window): $ 43,745,597
2009: $ 63,313,034
2010 (last year of the window): $ 72,847,133

They recognized that they had a window, and that it was time to spend. But this is a team that was consistently last in attendance in the bad years (with average attendance well below 20,000), and in the good years were still near the bottom, with around 23,000 fans per game. They still play in the worst park in baseball. They still play in an apathetic market.

I don't know if they'll be afforded the same opportunity to splurge a bit when they reach subsequent windows. And if not, they really have to nail it.

Your point about timing is a good one, but top prospect volume increases the odds of the timing working out.

As for their park and their fans ... the thank you that FAB posted (
Goodbye) tells me that their is some passion in the fan base and that could spread.

But yeah, they need a new baseball field. Outdoors. And maybe actually in Tampa instead of over the bridge in St. Pete. It would be a good thing if Tampa baseball meant Rays, not MFY spring training.


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The young Bill James rather famously wrote that he could not find any evidence that certain types of players could consistently hit better in the clutch – he still has not found that evidence. But unlike his younger self, he will not dismiss the idea of clutch hitting. He has been a consultant for the Red Sox for more than a decade, and he has watched David Ortiz deliver so many big hits in so many big moments, and he finds himself unwilling to deny that Big Papi does have an ability in those situations others don’t have.
Joe Posnanski
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Sox Sweep Again
Posted: Jan 8 2011, 01:39 AM


From the Mountain Zone.


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I used to live in Florida and I've never understood why baseball isn't huge there.

You have all those east-coast retirees plus a huge Caribbean population (where baseball is huge).

Bleacher seats are still cheap and often good seats are cheap.

What's the deal?


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Ready for a winning streak...
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Free Agent Blogger
Posted: Jan 8 2011, 09:48 PM


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I just decided that the Rays are in a far better position than I previously was thinking:

Friedman: Rays Will Reallocate Garza Money
By Mike Axisa [January 8, 2011 at 5:41pm CST]

Now that Matt Garza is officially a Cub, his former team has a little extra money burning a hole in its pocket. The right-hander earned $3.35MM in 2010 and was due a raise in his second trip through the arbitration process, perhaps into the $5-6MM range. Rays GM Andrew Friedman told Marc Topkin of The St. Petersburg Times that the club will now reallocate that money, and look to add one or two hitters and one or two relievers (Twitter link).

Tampa's offseason has been more about subtraction than addition to this point. In addition to Garza, shortstop Jason Bartlett was traded away, while Carl Crawford, Carlos Pena, Randy Choate, and Dan Wheeler all left via free agency. Rafael Soriano, Chad Qualls, and Grant Balfour remain unsigned as well. It's possible that Qualls and/or Balfour (a Type-A free agent) could return now that the team has some extra money, but it would be an upset if Soriano came back. Right-hander Joel Peralta has been their only significant signing so far.

The Rays could look to add a bat at first base, DH, or in the outfield. They're said to have interest in Vladimir Guerrero as well as Johnny Damon, and we can't discount Jim Thome or Manny Ramirez. Fred Lewis' name has popped up as well. On the relief pitcher front, they've been connected to both Manny Delcarmen and Brian Fuentes recently, but plenty of other free agent options still remain.

Tampa only has now $18.43MM tied up in 2011 payroll right now (according to Cot's), though arbitration raises to B.J. Upton and Andy Sonnanstine are still to come, ditto quite a few pre-arbitration signings. Principal owner Stuart Sternberg has indicated that payroll will dip below $60MM next season, but right now they appear to be well below that.




Friedman


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The smallest writing on the sign: "Also, the bridge is out ahead".
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Free Agent Blogger
Posted: Jan 8 2011, 10:20 PM


Moonlighting News Bot


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I'd now say, given the under $60M number previously given, their current salary situation, what's still available where they need help and considering how comparatively strong all three division favorites are (Red Sox, Rangers, Tigers), the wildcard favorite is well within their reach in 2011.


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The smallest writing on the sign: "Also, the bridge is out ahead".
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