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Monday, April 25, 2016

Rays notebook: Sternberg lauds Steinbrenner Field renovations | TBO.com and The Tampa Tribune

I am shocked that an owner of sports team would be in favor of tax dollars being put into the pockets of another owner.

Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg was asked Sunday for his thoughts on the $40 million approved by the Hillsborough County commissioners for renovations to George M. Steinbrenner Field, the spring home of the Yankees.

“Any money going toward baseball in Florida is fine by me,” he said. “It’s about the sport. It’s good for the spot. It shows that Hillsborough is committed to and sees the value of baseball in their midst.”

Jim Furtado Posted: April 25, 2016 at 10:11 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, stadium financing

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Rays calling up top prospect LHP Blake Snell to start Saturday | Tampa Bay Times

The Rays are calling up top prospect LHP Blake Snell to make his major-league debut at Yankee Stadium on Saturday, the Tampa Bay Times has learned.

Snell is 1-1, 2,51 in three starts for Triple-A Durham, striking out 21 in 14 1/2 innings while allowing 15 hits and seven walks.

In the midst of playing nine straight, the Rays needed a fifth starter for Saturday. They had been planning on using RHP Erasmo Ramirez, but he was needed in relief on Thursday in Boston.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 23, 2016 at 06:58 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: blake snell, rays, top prospects

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Rays win on bizarre walk-off interference call | Rays Index

Remember when a second baseman was getting hurt every other day? Don’t worry, I don’t either.

The Rays won their first game of the season on Tuesday night, but they needed a bizarre interference call to make it happen.

Trailing 3-2 in the 9th inning, the Blue Jays loaded the bases with one out with Edwin Encarnacion at the plate. He hit a groundball to Evan Longoria who tried to start a 5-4-3 double-play to end the game. However, Logan Forsythe threw the ball away on the turn and the Jays took a 4-3 lead.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 06, 2016 at 05:15 AM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Monday, April 04, 2016

Evaluating the 2016 Prospects: Tampa Bay Rays | FanGraphs Baseball

Here’s Fangraph’s Tampa Rays scouting reports. After reading and following Kiley McDaniel’s reporting the last couple of years, Fangraph’s stuff has been very disappointing this year, primarily because of the timetable. If you are doing scouting reports for fantasy players, you need your Top 100 lists out in early March at the latest for them to be useful. Hopefully, they will fix this issue next year as their stuff went from being one of the most useful lists to the least useful.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 04, 2016 at 09:03 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects, rays

Friday, April 01, 2016

Are Rays sacrificing defense for offense? | Tampa Bay Times

The proper valuation of players is key for turns like this one.

The key to any success the Rays have had, specifically in their run of making the playoffs four times in six years, has been based on dominant pitching and dazzling defense.

But the net result of adding those bats was trading two key pitchers, high-end reliever Jake McGee and Nathan Karns from their starting depth, then this week ditching two slick fielders, catcher Rene Rivera and first baseman James Loney.

Baseball operations president Matt Silverman said there was no change in thinking, no plan to “stray” from their pitching/defense/run prevention mantra, just “adjustments” to take advantage of opportunities. In other words, they feel the new players are good enough defenders and more productive hitters, so there is a net gain.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 01, 2016 at 11:18 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Rays tell James Loney he won’t be on team

Loney said he was told that he will either be released or traded. He plans to leave Port Charlotte today to await his fate upon mutual decision with the team.

“It had to be somebody (to go), right?’’ Loney said. “It is what it is.’‘

If released, the Rays will be responsible for his $8-million salary.

“There’s not a trade right now,’’ Loney said.

Loney lost his job as the Rays acquired Logan Morrison, Steve Pearce and Corey Dickerson during the off-season, With Dickerson as the primary DH, the Rays will use Morrison and Pearce at first.

The team also released catcher Rene Rivera.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 30, 2016 at 04:43 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: james loney, rays, rene rivera

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Nick Cafardo: What has changed in the AL East? - The Boston Globe

Hanley has looked good at first. He won’t be the horrible drain on the team’s defense in left. Might he have an occasional hiccup? Maybe. Even if it doesn’t happen I’m sure Cafardo will find something to complain about regarding him. Did Hanley steal his lollipop or something?

The Red Sox still leave you with questions about their future. That feeling is fueled by injuries to Eduardo Rodriguez and Carson Smith, the fact that Pablo Sandoval is still overweight and now injured (back), and the sentiment that Hanley Ramirez isn’t taking the move to first base seriously.

“Let’s see how mature [Ramirez] is by May,” said one AL scout. “Let’s see how interested he is at first base after he strikes out with the bases loaded and has to field his position.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 27, 2016 at 07:53 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: hanley ramirez, rays, red sox

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Baseball needs more money. Jersey sponsorships could fix that.

It worked for the Bad News Bears!

According to a recent report by Forbes, European revenue from jersey sponsorship will reached nearly $1 billion in 2016. The same should be true in the United States, but American Sports have long eschewed the same monetization of advertising on jerseys, with the exception of Major League Soccer.

That will no longer be the case in the very near future, with the NBA being the first of the big-four sports to take a leap into adding jersey logos in 2017:....

But the immediate fix, for the benefit of the sport and for all the small market teams like the Rays, goes beyond the added face time of participating in ventures like the exhibition game in Cuba.

It’s time for baseball to expand its revenue and marketing presence by adding jersey sponsorships, and allow the smallest of clubs—like the Rays—to have more opportunities in the market.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 23, 2016 at 01:09 PM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: advertising, rays

Monday, March 21, 2016

Chris Archer traded fastball run for rise in 2015, and it made him an Ace - DRaysBay

But Archer’s game elevated to another level in 2015, almost literally. Instead of relying on the running two seamer as his primary pitch, he reverted back to earlier career fastball usage rates and relied on his four seamer to get the job done. He traded almost 4.5” of run for an extra 3” of rise.

The additional use of the rising four seamer may have played perfectly off of the insane drop of his hard slider. While the slider dropped 9” from the two seamer in 2014, that gap increased to 11” off the rising four seamer in 2015.

Faced with a 95 mph fastball and 88 mph slider, batters couldn’t decide quickly enough whether the ball was going to drop under the zone, or rise above it.

Swinging strike rates jumped, leading to a huge increase in strikeout rate. Archer notched 252 strikeouts over 212 innings in 2015, far more than ever before. And though many of those were victims of his deadly slider, there are a few good shots of just how good that rising fastball was in this outing:

Jim Furtado Posted: March 21, 2016 at 12:52 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: chris archer, rays

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Rays trip to Cuba for March 22 exhibition finally set | Tampa Bay Times

Commissioner Rob Manfred:  “Major League Baseball is excited to play in Cuba and to have the Tampa Bay Rays representing our 30 Clubs. During a time of historic change, we appreciate the constructive role afforded by our shared passion for the game, and we look forward to experiencing Cuba’s storied baseball tradition and the passion of its many loyal fans.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 02, 2016 at 06:39 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: cuba, rays

Saturday, February 13, 2016

A wild pitch from Montreal: Split the Rays with Tampa Bay | Tampa Bay Times

This is not a great idea. Why not just give Rays fans money to stop following the team?

Jim Furtado Posted: February 13, 2016 at 08:40 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: expos, montreal, rays, stadium, tampa

Saturday, February 06, 2016

WANTED: New home for American League baseball team | Tampa Bay Times

Actual criteria for picking stadium deal: make a deal which extracts as big a profit as possible regardless to the the actual benefits of taxpayers.

The potential for public-private partnerships, economic development opportunities, site accessibility and regional connectivity — “those are critically important elements of any potential location.”

The Rays appear eager to start providing details to interested parties. Team officials delivered the document to St. Petersburg officials three weeks after the City Council approved a deal allowing them to look outside the city. The memorandum of understanding gave the club 60 days.

The document lists six categories by which the Rays will evaluate potential sites:
• Catalyst for development
• Local authenticity
• Regional connectivity
• Site accesibility
• Size and geometry
• Financial feasibility and development readiness

The granite countertops could come up later.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 06, 2016 at 06:17 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Report: Rockies clear logjam, deal Corey Dickerson to Rays

The Colorado Rockies found a way to get rid of their outfield logjam Thursday. The team reportedly agreed to send Corey Dickerson to the Tampa Bay Rays for closer Jake McGee. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports initially reported the deal, while Joel Sherman of the New York Post first said McGee was involved.
The 26-year-old Dickerson has put up strong numbers the past two seasons, though that comes with a few caveats. Dickerson crushes right-handed pitching, but isn’t the same player against lefties. He hit .328, with 21 of his 24 home runs off righties during his 2014 breakout, and hit .315 with all 10 of his home runs coming off righties in 2015.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 28, 2016 at 04:26 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: corey dickerson, jake mcgee, rays, rockies

Two major hurdles stand in way of Rays signing Ian Desmond | Tampa Bay Times

For the Rays, there are two major hurdles in signing Desmond, who turned 30 in September.

One would be the terms. Desmond made $11-million last season with Washington and turned down a qualifying offer, which was a one-year, $15.8-milliom deal, expecting he would do better on the open market.

That Desmond has indicated he would like to play for the Rays, that he is from Sarasota, that he is represented by the same agency as Rays manager Kevin Cash (Sports One Athlete Management) and that he is close friends with Rays OF Steven Souza Jr. are all factors.

But he is still going to want to get paid.

If he was amenable to a one-year deal, which in theory would allow him to rebuild his value and go back on the market next year, the Rays would have to figure out how far they were willing to go salary wise. They might be more interested if they could get Desmond to agree to a 2017 option, or for a second year, allowing them to spread the money around.

The other issue for the Rays is that they would have to forfeit their first-round pick in the coming draft, the No. 13 overall pick. Given how important the draft is to the Rays, and that some in the industry value those mid-first round picks well in excess of $10-million, it could be that is the bigger hurdle.

If they signed Desmond for a year and he became a free agent after the season, the Rays would be in a position to get an extra pick back in 2017, though between the first and second rounds. So it could come down to whether they got enough of a bargain on the salary to make it worthwhile to give up the draft pick.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 28, 2016 at 07:03 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, ian desmond, rays

Monday, January 25, 2016

Kevin Kiermaier defense measured with Statcast | MLB.com

I look forward to when there is enough data to put a run value on each catch using StatCast data.

It’s not quite as big a gap, though Kiermaier still clearly covered more ground. The images line up well with the tracked numbers, which show that Kiermaier’s average distance covered of 58.5 feet on catches was well more than Pagan’s 51.2 or the average center fielder’s 53.8 feet.

Now, let’s be clear about what those images are showing and what they aren’t. Those dots are all catches, without concern for hang time or launch angle, and they don’t show missed balls. Ultimately, there’s an argument that since (in theory, anyway) many types of balls should be caught by literally every capable Major League outfielder, all that’s relevant is showing the extremes, the ones that a great fielder like Kiermaier can get to that lesser defenders cannot, and eliminating the rest. We need to show averages, and perhaps ranges of success. This is a very good first step, but just one of many.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 25, 2016 at 06:36 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: defense, kevin kiermaier, rays, sabermetrics, statcast

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Kahrl: Why moving the A’s and Rays would be good for baseball

Move them to LA to share a stadium with the Rams and Chargers!

A better venue in the East Bay, ideally closer to a rich seam of corporate clients, would provide major money over what the A’s are generating now. If that’s best done in San Jose, it’s on Manfred to make that happen, and for baseball to afford the expense of paying back the Giants for their unused territorial rights. In Montreal, the track record for attendance, even without a great downtown venue and before the industry ran the Expos into the ground to aid carpetbagger Jeffrey Loria’s franchise takeover, suggests there’s major money to be made.

In both cases, you can argue that baseball will need to get serious about putting some skin in the game; the public financing landscape has changed, perhaps best reflected in the NFL’s recent willingness to help finance the Rams’ return to L.A. As new-stadium watchers for both the Rays and the Athletics have noted, there’s reason to believe that MLB and the teams themselves should invest in what comes next in Tampa/St. Pete and California’s East Bay. But if MLB’s paying the bills, it should collectively buy into the opportunity to reap the richest rewards. Investing in an arguably already saturated Tampa/St. Pete market with an already poor track record for support doesn’t sound nearly as lucrative.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 24, 2016 at 09:26 PM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, montreal, rays, relocation, san jose

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Rays signing Steve Pearce to a 1-year deal

The Rays are signing Steve Pearce to a 1-year deal pending a physical, the Tampa Bay Times has learned.

Pearce, 32, will get at-bats at DH, 1B and in the outfield. The Lakeland native has played parts of nine seasons in the majors, the last three with Baltimore.

Pearce had a spectacular 2014 season, hitting .293 with 21 homers, 49 RBIs and a .930 OPS in 102 games but fell off considerably last year, hitting .218-15-40-.711 in 92 games.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 21, 2016 at 02:08 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, steve pearce

Monday, December 07, 2015

Rays said to be targeting Javier Baez in talks with Cubs | Tampa Bay Times

The Rays have pitching depth to deal from - either of their two late-inning relievers, Jake McGee or Brad Boxberger, and a starter from the group of Drew Smyly, Matt Moore, Jake Odorizzi and Erasmo Ramirez.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 07, 2015 at 08:49 AM | 62 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, javier baez, rays

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Rays’ Silverman developing ‘no-nonsense’ reputation | Tampa Bay Times

Some great info on making trades.

“There’s certain teams who come in and officer audacious proposals that are more entertaining than anything else,” he said. “That is not our style. We like to cut to the chase and have targeted discussions and move on quickly if there isn’t a deal to be had.

“That’s the approach we’ve taken. It’s not necessarily the right approach, but it is one that we’re comfortable with and has led to some strong relationships with the clubs across the league.”

Also, to be fair as they need to maintain those relationships to keep making trades, an essential avenue to fill holes and reallocate talent given their absence of resources to compete for free agents, though he didn’t necessarily expect to be quite so active, averaging more than one deal a month.

“I think it shows our willingness to trust our information and be decisive in our moves,” Silverman said, “We aren’t afraid of being wrong. And we will be wrong on a number of occasions. But if you look over the body of work, we’ve been able to maintain a competitive presence with an encouraging future.”

Jim Furtado Posted: December 06, 2015 at 08:04 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: general manager, matt silverman, rays

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Rays’ Silverman expects to continue to be active in trade market | Tampa Bay Times

Rays doing Rays things.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 12, 2015 at 09:37 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Murray Chass: CASHMAN, OTHER G.M.’S NEED TO BE MORE LIKE MOORE

To copy the Royals, the Dodgers and the Yankees would have to strip their payrolls and start over. The Yankees would also have to jettison their vastly overrated general manager, Brian Cashman, and find a general manager more adept at putting a roster together and not do it by throwing the Yankees’ millions at free agents.

 

bobm Posted: November 07, 2015 at 08:32 AM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: dayton moore, dodgers, rays, royals, yankees

Friday, January 20, 2012

Tampa Bay Rays re-sign first baseman Carlos Pena

Big time rush…to sign him!

The Tampa Bay Rays have re-signed first baseman Carlos Pena, the Tampa Bay Times has confirmed.

Pena has seemed a good fit to return to the Rays throughout the off-season, as we’ve written and talked about repeatedly.

Pena played for the Rays from 2007-10, then moved to the Cubs last season. Agent Scott Boras told the Tampa Bay Times last week that Pena was open to a return to the Rays, where he had success and enjoyed the experience, and Pena told MLB Network Radio last week he was considering several options. He made $10-million last season with the Cubs.

Repoz Posted: January 20, 2012 at 12:30 PM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: business, rays

Sunday, January 15, 2012

MLB Trade Rumors: Bartolo Colon Agrees to Sign With Unknown Team

Bartolo Colon has agreed to a deal with an unknown club reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today (on Twitter). The right-hander wouldn’t divulge the team because he has not yet passed his physical.

Pretty sure it’s either the All-Stars or the Champs.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Former Oriole Luke Scott signs one-year deal with Tampa Bay

Luke Scott: Rebirtherr.

Luke Scott, the outspoken, energetic slugger who spent four seasons in Baltimore and was named the 2010 Most Valuable Oriole, has agreed to a one-year deal with the division-rival Tampa Bay Rays that includes a 2013 option, according to an industry source.

Exact terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

Scott, 33, was in his final year of arbitration after making $6.4 million in an injury-marred 2011 that ended in July, when he decided to have season-ending surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder. In December, the Orioles decided not to tender him a contract—he would have made at least $6 million and likely more—and allowed him to become a free agent.

There was talk that the club wanted him back on a lesser deal, but the Orioles never made a push this offseason to re-sign him.

Repoz Posted: January 11, 2012 at 01:53 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles, rays

Friday, January 06, 2012

How The Greg Reynolds Trade Is More Interesting Than You Think

How could it possibly be more interesting?

We’ll begin with the biggie. Reynolds, of course, was selected second overall by the Rockies in 2006. He was selected right after Luke Hochevar, and right before Evan Longoria. The Rockies’ selection of Reynolds was thought to be a reach, and it took the Rays by surprise. The Rays had another plan, assuming the Rockies would take Longoria. That plan? Andrew Friedman:

We had Evan Longoria first on our board…We thought Longoria was going to go two to Colorado, and we had cut a deal with Tim Lincecum, to take three….

Reynolds’ failures were magnified because the Rockies nearly drafted Long Beach State third baseman Evan Longoria before turning to the Stanford pitcher. At the time, the Rockies felt starting pitching was more of a priority with Garrett Atkins and [Ian] Stewart both in the fold.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 06, 2012 at 12:01 PM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers, rays, rockies

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