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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Source: Myers to Padres in 11-player deal with Rays, Nats | MLB.com

This is a trade that may work out for all three teams.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 17, 2014 at 08:56 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: padres, rays, wil myers

Are Wil Myers’ flaws fixable? | FOX Sports

Maybe he’s not as good as prospect evaluators thought.

So what’s the deal? Why is a promising young talent like Myers about to join his third organization before turning 25? Is there a concern about his future that has caused teams to sour on him more quickly than we’d expect, given his performance and pedigree? Let’s take a look under the hood and see if we can identify any potential red flags.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 17, 2014 at 10:14 AM | 74 comment(s)
  Beats: padres, rays, wil myers

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Rays trade Matt Joyce to Angels in exchange for Kevin Jepsen

The Rays traded outfielder Matt Joyce to the Angels on Tuesday in exchange for reliever Kevin Jepsen….

Joyce, who was an All-Star in 2011, spent six of his seven seasons in the majors with Tampa Bay. He heads to Los Angeles with a .250/.342/.441/.783 slash line in 725 career games. Joyce has a .104 average, one home run and seven RBI in 19 games at Angel Stadium.

Jepsen is 13-18 with a 3.94 ERA over seven seasons for the Angels. He had a career-high 75 strikeouts in 65 innings in 2014, while posting a career-low 2.63 ERA.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 16, 2014 at 02:49 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, kevin jepsen, matt joyce, rays, trade

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Sternberg: If deal fails, Rays may leave area | Tampa Bay Times

Let them move.

Having spent years working toward the agreement for permission to look for new stadium sites, Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg remains confident that with a perfectly designed and located new ballpark, baseball can be a smashing success in the Tampa Bay area.

But if the agreement is not approved and a new stadium is not under construction within the next few years, Sternberg said there will be no baseball at all — “we’re doomed to leave” — as he likely will sell the team, and a new owner will move it after the Tropicana Field lease expires in 2027.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 10, 2014 at 06:27 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, stadium deals

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Stuart Sternberg Is Still Bitter About How Joe Maddon Ended Up With The Cubs | Rays Index

The Rays need to let it go.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 09, 2014 at 08:34 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Sternberg calls deal fair, says with no new stadium team likely to be sold, moved

Having finally reached what he considers a fair agreement with St. Petersburg to look for stadium sites in Tampa, Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg restated his confidence in the Tampa Bay area as a strong market for Major League Baseball.

But he also said that if the agreement is not approved and there is no deal in place within the next few years for a new stadium to be built, he likely will sell the team and would expect it to be moved out of the Tampa Bay area when the Trop lease runs out in 2027.

“I’m not leaving. I’m not moving this team. I’m not taking this team out of the area. But that’s me,’’ Sternberg said at baseball’s winter meetings in San Diego. “The chances of me owning this team in 2023 if we don’t have a new stadium are probably nil. Somebody else will take it and move it. It’s not a threat, just the reality. I won’t be sitting here 10 years from now waiting it out to move the team.’‘

While acknowledging approval by the St. Petersburg City Council on Thursday remains “a big hurdle,” Sternberg said he believes that approval can lead to success in the market.

“I think baseball can still flourish down here and I’m looking for the oppotunity to make that happen,’’ Sternberg said. “We need to get the building and the location pinpoint perfect for that to happen.’‘

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 09, 2014 at 02:53 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: montreal, rays, relocation, stadium deals, tampa

Monday, December 08, 2014

Rays and Kriseman reach agreement to allow Hillsborough stadium search

Mayor Rick Kriseman and the Tampa Bay Rays have reached an agreement to let the team search for new stadium sites in Hillsborough County in exchange for payments to the city if the team leaves before its contract at Tropicana Field expires in 2027.

Kriseman wants to the City Council to discuss the agreement at its meeting on Thursday.

Payments would be based on how many years would remain on the Trop lease if the Rays left, starting at $4 million a season until December 2018, dropping to $3 million a season from 2019 to 2022 and $2 million from 2023 through 2026.

Is Montreal in Hillsborough County?

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 08, 2014 at 05:21 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: expos, hillsborough county, rays, stadium deals

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Rays manager Kevin Cash said to have sharp baseball mind | Tampa Bay Times

So people don’t think Kevin Cash is very bright?

“Kevin Cash is smarter than what people think he is,” Boston DH David Ortiz said Friday in the Dominican Republic. “We played together and he was a guy that, his knowledge about the game was beyond guys that play the game every day. That’s what kept him playing as long as he played — his knowledge, the way he approached the game, the way he looked at the game.”

Jim Furtado Posted: December 07, 2014 at 08:32 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: kevin cash, rays

Friday, December 05, 2014

Rays To Hire Kevin Cash As Manager

The Rays will hire former big league catcher Kevin Cash as their next manager, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link). Cash was reportedly one of three finalists with Raul Ibanez and former Mariners manager/current Royals bench coach Don Wakamatsu. Ibanez had reportedly withdrawn himself from consideration earlier this week…

Cash, who turns 37 tomorrow, served as the Indians’ bullpen coach in 2013-14 after a brief stop in the Blue Jays’ scouting department following his playing career… Cash spent parts of eight Major League seasons as a catcher for the Red Sox, Yankees, Astros, Rays and Blue Jays, batting a combined .183/.248/.278 in 714 plate appearances.

The District Attorney Posted: December 05, 2014 at 01:26 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: kevin cash, managers, rays

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Tampa homeless program uses unpaid, destitute residents as steady labor force [including for Rays], revenue source

Maybe he should just call his unpaid workers “student-athletes”?

For years, New Beginnings founder and CEO Tom Atchison has sent his unpaid homeless labor crews to Tampa Bay Rays, Lightning and Bucs games, the Daytona 500 and the Florida State Fair. For their shelter, he’s had homeless people work in construction, landscaping, telemarketing, moving, painting, even grant-writing.

Atchison calls it “work therapy.” Homeless advocates and labor lawyers call it exploitative, and possibly illegal. It is the latest questionable way Atchison has used homeless people, and public money, a Tampa Bay Times investigation has found.

Now Atchison is applying to run Hillsborough County’s new homeless shelter, a contract worth millions of public dollars that would entrust him with the county’s most vulnerable people.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 03, 2014 at 11:11 AM | 62 comment(s)
  Beats: buccaneers, homeless, rays

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Rays name managerial finalists: Cash, Ibanez, Wakamatsu | Tampa Bay Times

There doesn’t appear to be any rhyme or reason to the Rays managerial search.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 22, 2014 at 07:10 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: managerial search, rays

Friday, November 21, 2014

Dodgers Acquire Joel Peralta – MLB Trade Rumors

The Dodgers announced that they have acquired right-hander Joel Peralta and lefty Adam Liberatore from the Rays in exchange for right-handers Jose Dominguez and Greg Harris.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 21, 2014 at 06:20 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, rays

Monday, November 17, 2014

Joe Maddon impressed with Rays’ managerial candidates | Tampa Bay Times

He shouldn’t comment on this process. It’s like breaking up with a girl and then months later telling her, “Your new boyfriend seems like a solid candidate to fill the gaping void that I surely left in your life.”

They’ve created a wonderful list, they really have,” Maddon said. “They’ve given themselves an opportunity to interview some really qualified people and make a typically very good Rays decision at the end of the day. I really believe that. You know it’s going to be well thought out, and they’re going to select a solid candidate to lead.”

Jim Furtado Posted: November 17, 2014 at 10:36 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: joe maddon, rays

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Doug Glanville travels different path in Rays’ managerial search | Tampa Bay Times

If playing baseball simulations and watching and talking a lot about baseball is valuable, a hereby throw my hat into the ring.

But his mind has been in the game during much of the 10 years since; he has written extensively, and as an ESPN analyst watched and talked a lot about baseball.

Add that to a longtime interest in analytics he ascribes to playing the Stratomatic baseball game as a kid, and creativity and leadership qualities he has developed through life experiences, and Glanville, 44, feels he can present well.

“Maybe I am a dark horse (candidate), I don’t know,” he said. “I approach it like, ‘Why not?’ “

Jim Furtado Posted: November 15, 2014 at 11:46 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: managerial search, rays

D-backs land Hellickson for two prospects | MLB.com

“In just about every deal that we’re going to do, I’m going to try and get as much information as I can, first of all,” Stewart said when asked what he liked about Hellickson. “I touched base with a lot of people to find out about him, people who had seen him pitch and people who know him. One, they said he was competitive. And I’ve seen him pitch on a couple of occasions and he commands his fastball and throws to both sides of the plate, he pitches inside well and he changes speeds well, which is the definition of a pitcher.”

Jim Furtado Posted: November 15, 2014 at 08:39 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, rays, trades

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

MLB probing Cubs for tampering with Maddon | New York Post

The Rays are acting like jilted lovers.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 11, 2014 at 06:40 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, rays

Friday, November 07, 2014

Dodgers to hire Gabe Kapler as farm director

According to Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles, the Dodgers will hire former major league outfielder Gabe Kapler as their farm director.

Kapler will fill the vacancy created when De Jon Watson left the Dodgers to become the Diamondbacks senior vice president of baseball operations in late September. The hiring doesn’t come out of nowhere, as ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick first reported news of the possibility last week.

Kapler has strong ties to new Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman from his playing days with the Rays and later on as a part-time consultant. It’s a bold and outside-the-box choice, but through his baseball coverage on FOX and Twitter, Kapler has shown that he’s extremely sharp and analytical.

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: November 07, 2014 at 06:23 AM | 94 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, fox, gabe kapler, rays

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Rays name 8 manager candidates, including Raul Ibanez

Joe Maddon skipped town to sign with the Cubs on a five-year, $25 million contract, so the Rays need to find a new manager. They’re going to initially try to select one from a list of eight candidates, but according to earlier reports, they are going to check out at least 12 potential managers before making a decision.

Those initial eight candidates, courtesy of the Tampa Bay Times’ Marc Topkin:

   Dave Martinez
   Charlie Montoyo
   Manny Acta
   Ron Wotus
   Don Wakamatsu
   Raul Ibanez
   Craig Counsell
   Kevin Cash


Saturday, November 01, 2014

Tampa’s choice on tampering charges—MLB - ESPN - Insider (Sub Required)

Where’s the proof? Maddon had a opt-out clause in his contract. He reportedly was reminded about the clause by TB’s Matt Silverman, “The opt-out clause, Maddon said, was something of a fine-print treasure revealed to him in a call from Matt Silverman, the Rays’ president of baseball operations, just after Friedman left. “I had totally forgotten about it,” Maddon said. “Andrew leaves, and I get a phone call that I have an opt-out clause. Otherwise I would not have known, I swear to you.”” Without evidence, this is reckless reporting.

From the Rays’ perspective, the way the Maddon situation has played out must be, well, maddening. In the hours after Andrew Friedman’s departure to the Dodgers was announced, Maddon publicly stated a renewed commitment to remain with the Rays for the long term, and Matt Silverman—who replaced Friedman at the head of the Rays’ baseball operations—announced that Maddon would be the manager for 2015, and that the team would work to sign him to a long-term deal.

And the Rays followed up. They opened negotiations with Maddon and offered him a deal that would guarantee him standing as one of baseball’s highest-paid managers. There was a sense in the Tampa Bay organization that the two sides were on the verge of a deal.

Then, abruptly, something changed, days before Maddon formally opted out of his contract.

Update: Alen Nero talking about Joe Maddon.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 01, 2014 at 01:52 PM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, joe maddon, managers, rays

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Evan Longoria: A Bust and Not a Bust | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball

Is batted ball distance available online anywhere?

Furthermore, Longoria chased pitches outside the zone like never before. His O-Swing% jumped above 30% for the first time, and he’s been below average at making contact with those types of pitches. That might explain what led to the higher SwStk%.

So Longoria got a little swing happy at pitches outside the strike zone. But what about his power? Well, his batted ball distance which had sat in the 287 to 294 foot range over the last four seasons, declined to about 279 feet this year. That’s right around the league average. And so then it’s no surprise that his HR/FB rate also fell near the league average, barely clearing the 10% mark. And it’s not like he was hitting tons of doubles that just fell short of the wall. He went from hitting a double once every 15.7 at-bats in 2013 to just once every 24 at-bats. So this was a legitimate power outage.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 28, 2014 at 10:10 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: evan longoria, rays, sabermetrics

Monday, October 27, 2014

Report: Rays owner has discussed moving team to Montreal

Put the Rays in Montreal, the Bobcats in Seattle, the Coyotes in Hartford, and the Jaguars back in Decatur!

Tampa Bay Rays owner Stuart Sternberg has had discussions about moving the franchise to Montreal, reports the New York Daily News.

According to the report, Sternberg has spoken about the possibility with “wealthy Wall Street associates.” Sternberg resides in Rye, New York, and worked in finance in New York City before buying into the Rays in 2004….
  
Rays owner Stuart Sternberg has been frustrated in his efforts to get out of Tropicana Field in St. Pete and move to a new stadium in Tampa, but there is growing belief that the economically depressed Tampa Bay area won’t support the Rays no matter where they play.

   As one major-league official put it to me Friday: “Say what you will about Montreal, but the Expos drew well over two million fans four times there in their heyday, while the Rays did that only once, their first year.”

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 27, 2014 at 10:10 AM | 60 comment(s)
  Beats: montreal, rays, stu sternberg

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Players, staff to be consulted in Rays manager search | Tampa Bay Times

Since Silverman is giving voice to the players, what do they want?

“Most important thing for me is a manager that the players can relate to and feel comfortable,” third baseman Evan Longoria texted Saturday. “Don’t think that the environment in the clubhouse needs a complete overhaul. I welcome a new manager’s enthusiasm. Joe was pretty tough to rival on that front, so we will see what the new plans are.”

Top starter Alex Cobb said personality and leadership skills — preferably as a “players’ manager” who “truly has your back” — are more important than strategic ability.

“Sometimes over-managing can be almost overevaluated and thought of too highly,” Cobb said. “What I would look for is someone that can really bring guys together and truly have the ultimate goal just by winning games.”

And Cobb, for one anyway, said the Rays don’t necessarily need to focus on finding a Maddon clone.

“You’re not going to be able to replicate what we had here,” Cobb said. “I think going in a different direction might be the way to go. I don’t think being narrow-minded and envisioning one particular way of success will be the answer here.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 26, 2014 at 09:37 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: managerial search, rays

Thursday, October 16, 2014


New Rays president Auld steps into middle of stadium talks | TBO.com

I hope St. Petersburg is smarter than other communities.

[Brian] Auld, 37, now finds himself not only running a major-league team and implementing owner Stuart Sternberg’s organizational vision, but he also has moved to the forefront of the team’s effort to land a new stadium.

“I’ve ridden side-car, if you will, on the stadium situation since 2006 when we got started,” Auld said.

Auld said he will rely heavily on Melanie Lenz, the Rays’ vice president of development, during what he hopes will be successful talks with St. Petersburg mayor Rick Kriseman. Auld said he is optimistic an agreement can be reached by the end of the year that will allow the Rays to look throughout the Tampa Bay area for a new stadium location.

“Obviously, we need to figure it out,” Auld said. “I think we understand our incentives, and the community’s incentives are perfectly aligned. Now, figuring out exactly what that is and where the stadium should go will be very challenging. But it needs to go in the best place for the Rays, and it needs to go in the best place for the community.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 16, 2014 at 09:28 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, stadium deals

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Friedman’s best, worst moves with Rays | TBO.com, The Tampa Tribune and The Tampa Times

An Andrew Friedman postmortem.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 15, 2014 at 08:55 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: andrew friedman, rays

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