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Saturday, June 24, 2017

Rays designate catcher Derek Norris for assignment

C Derek Norris tied a career-high with three hits in Friday’s 15-5 win against the Orioles then was designated for assignment after the game to make room on the 25-man roster for C Wilson Ramos.

Ramos, signed in December to a two-year, $12.5 million, has been out since late September after suffering a right knee injury while playing for the Nationals.

“I feel so comfortable, really good moving behind the plate,” Ramos said. “Right now I feel very good and ready to play, ready to get activated.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 24, 2017 at 01:14 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: derek norris, rays, wilson ramos

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Rays Select Brendan McKay, Will Allow Him To Pursue Hitting and Pitching

“We were thrilled to select Brendan McKay as our fourth overall pick. This is a very rare talent, a player as a position player and as a pitcher warranted top of the draft consideration.” Rays Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations said. “At pick four, you never know how things are going to go ahead of you, but all we can say is that we our staff is thrilled to have selected him and hopefully have him in our organization.”

Although he was announced as a first baseman on MLB Network, Erik Neander confirmed that the organization was going to allow him to pursue his path as both a pitcher and a hitter.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 13, 2017 at 06:37 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: brendan mckay, rays

Friday, June 09, 2017

Rays Kevin Kiermaier to be out two months with fracture

Rays CF Kevin Kiermaier will be sidelined for at least two months after tests showed a hairline fracture in the hip area.

Kiermaier will need 6-8 weeks for the fracture to head and then work his way back into baseball shape, returning, at the earliest, sometime in August.

“He’s going to be out a while,’’ manager Kevin Cash said.


Mallex Smith has been called up from Triple-A Durham and will take over as the primary centerfielder.

“He’s going to get his chance,’’ Cash said.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 09, 2017 at 12:23 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: kevin kiermaier, rays

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

MLB investigating abuse allegations leveled against Rays’ Derek Norris by ex-fiancée

Major League Baseball is investigating allegations by Derek Norris’ former fiancée that the Tampa Bay Rays catcher “physically and mentally abused’’ her during their relationship, league spokesman Pat Courtney told ESPN.com on Tuesday night.

Kristen Eck made the charges in an Instagram post in which she described being abused by “the man I thought I was going to marry’’ before leaving him a year ago with no access to a car and $300 to her name. She did not specifically refer to Norris by name in the post, but a 2015 interview she did with MLB Central identified her as Norris’ fiancée.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 07, 2017 at 09:45 AM | 63 comment(s)
  Beats: derek norris, domestic abuse, rays

Thursday, June 01, 2017

#LaunchMo

Does this mean he’s actually good because of a mechanical change or is it small sample size theater?

The added loft to his swing is allowing him to drive the ball to and over the fence. Morrison’s average launch angle from 2015 through 2016 was between 10.7 and 12.1% with his average batted ball distance between 172 and 175 feet. So far in 2017, his average launch angle is 15.1% and his average batted ball distance is up 50 feet from last season to 215 feet. His 18 Barrels leads the club and his bat is a big part of the team’s offensive production in May.

The guy many wanted gone last May and were perplexed when the team brought him back for the 2017 season has in fact become the middle of the lineup bat the team has searched for at first base for far too long. How he can maintain this new approach and level of production will be critical to the club’s future success as the scheduling gods finally turn the Rays’ way both in terms of strength of schedule and days off. Sometimes, it is the moves that a team does not make that end up being the best move. The decision to bring back Morrison while not overpaying for Carter nor Napoli, to date, is looking like one of the best moves of the offseason.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 01, 2017 at 10:43 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: logan morrison, rays

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Sucre or Norris? | The Process Report

Three catchers in the days of 13 man bullpen? Yup, I’d say it would limit their flexibility. Ultimately, Norris and Sucre aren’t very good, so the choice isn’t really that tough.

Maybe the Rays feel like Ramos is only ready for DH duty, and they happen to keep three natural catchers on the roster for the time being, but I feel like they wouldn’t bring him back if he wasn’t 100% ready. Carrying three catchers would obviously limit their flexibility, so that seems out of the question. With the Rays sitting at 28-27 heading into the final day of May, they’re right in the thick of things. The return of Wilson Ramos this summer will provide them with plenty of pop and a bit of a welcomed contact approach that’ll help even out the extreme strikeout and home run offense that we’ve come to know through the nearly 60 games the Rays have now played in 2017.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 31, 2017 at 09:36 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Rays journal: Steven Souza Jr. laughing right along after comical dive | Tampa Bay Times

“I can’t really think of one that tops that,” CF Kevin Kiermaier said. “I was just hysterically laughing out there.”

Souza said he heard from so many people he had to turn off the messaging on his phone, but he also engaged, sending a tweet to the folks running MLB’s StatCast asking for a breakdown, which it said was that he came up 23 feet short and had “0% catch probability but a five-star effort.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 28, 2017 at 08:44 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, steven souza

Tuesday, May 16, 2017


Monday, April 24, 2017

Nationals trade rumors: Washington interested in David Robertson, Alex Colome

According to Jim Bowden of ESPN, the Nationals have “touched base” with multiple teams regarding their closers, specifically the White Sox’s David Robertson and Rays’ Alex Colome.

Washington has been searching for ninth-inning help since the end of last season. On top of losing Mark Melancon as a free agent, the Nationals also whiffed on Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen. This isn’t the first time Robertson’s name has come up in connection to the Nationals, either. The White Sox seemingly tried all winter to find a trade partner, but no team was willing to part with the necessary prospects and take on the final two years of Robertson’s deal. He’s making $12 million in 2017 and is due another $13 million in the final year of his contract in 2018.

While the Nationals may be poking around closers, Bowden reports the asking prices on Robertson and Colome remain extremely high.


Friday, April 21, 2017

Major League Baseball in Las Vegas? Commissioner says it’s an option

Major League Baseball would be open to having a team in Las Vegas, Commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday.

With two existing franchises — the Oakland A’s and the Tampa Bay Rays — struggling to secure financing for new stadiums, the option of relocating a team to Las Vegas is very much on the table.

“If we were looking at relocation,” Manfred said, “Las Vegas would be on the list.”...

Manfred didn’t rule out the possibility of an expansion franchise in Las Vegas, but added that “until the Tampa Bay and Oakland situations are settled, I can’t see talking about expansion.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 21, 2017 at 04:19 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, expansion, las vegas, rays, relocation

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Why the Rays’ Mallex Smith is headed to the minors | Tampa Bay Times

Smith, personable and charismatic as well, isn’t basking in what he has done, the 4-for-19 at the plate (.211) offsetting the hustle on the field and basepaths (3-for-3 in steals) in Mallex-facturing runs. “A good first week,” he said. “But there’s a lot of things I could do better.”

He’s determined to prove he is more than just fast, that “being talked about as a one-dimensional guy kinda irks me.” And he is sharp enough to know there isn’t much he can do to extend his stay but keep playing hard and see what happens.

It is going to seem wrong when the Rays send him down. But it’s going to be the right move.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 12, 2017 at 08:44 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: mallex smith, rays

Monday, April 10, 2017

Rays Tales: Fundamental change in pregame preparations | Tampa Bay Times

“It’s a reminder to keep doing what we’re doing effortwise but also using our heads at the same time,” Baldelli said. “We don’t have to challenge the defense every time.”

To reinforce that, he had a sign installed in the clubhouse that reads:

Run the bases hard, but take what the defense gives you.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 10, 2017 at 10:00 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Sunday, April 02, 2017

OPENING DAY CHATTER

Yankees/Rays 1:10 PM Tanaka (0-0) Archer (0-0) 

Giants/D-backs 4:10 PM Bumgarner (0-0) Greinke (0-0) 

Cubs/Cardinals 8:35 PM Lester (0-0) Martinez (0-0)

 


Thank God

Lassus Posted: April 02, 2017 at 06:53 AM | 148 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, cubs, diamondbacks, giants, mlb, rays, yankees

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Rays Designate Nick Franklin For Assignment

The Rays have designated infielder Nick Franklin for assignment, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. Jumbo Diaz, Daniel Robertson, Mallex Smith and Peter Bourjos have all made the Rays’ Opening Day roster.

The 26-year-old Franklin batted a solid .270/.328/.443 in 191 plate appearances with the Rays in 2016, but he posted subpar defensive numbers and was out of options. He also rarely plays shortstop and therefore doesn’t make an ideal utility infielder, and Rays manager Kevin Cash pointed to Robertson’s ability to back up the shortstop position better than Franklin as a factor in the decision, via a tweet from Topkin.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 01, 2017 at 11:30 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: nick franklin, rays

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

White Sox trade CF Peter Bourjos to Rays for cash

Peter Bourjos, who appeared to be the leading candidate to open the season as the Sox’ center fielder, is headed to the Rays for cash considerations, a major-league source said.

An announcement will be made Tuesday.


The move opens the door for prospect Jacob May to begin the season in center. He’s hitting .339 with an .886 OPS while playing good defense.

Bourjos, 29, owns a lifetime .243/.300/.382 slash line. He batted .313 this spring after coming in as a non-roster invitee.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 28, 2017 at 10:57 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: peter bourjos, rays, white sox

Friday, March 24, 2017

Rays to sign catcher Derek Norris


The Rays are signing free-agent C Derek Norris, the Tampa Bay Times has learned.

The deal with Norris, which is pending a physcial, will be for one year, though the Rays could retain control of Norris in 2018 when he’d be eligible for arbitration for a final time. The total value is expected to be worth less than $2-million.

They will have to create space on the 40-man roster once the deal is finalized.

UPDATE, 4:47: The major-league deal is for $1.2-million guaranteed, plus $800,000 in performance bonuses.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 24, 2017 at 05:52 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: derek norris, rays

Stu Sternberg: Top choices for Rays new stadium are unavailable

What were the Rays’ top five choices for a new stadium — three in Tampa and two in St. Petersburg — are unavailable. That may push the team’s time line for finding a new site from August to the end of 2017.

“We had some ideas on locations that just weren’t available, that I thought would have worked perfectly, but they’re off the table,’’ Sternberg said before the Rays’ game at their spring training site in Port Charlotte. “So we’re sort of moving down our list to Nos. 2, 3 and 4.”....

As a result, Sternberg said the team doesn’t know if it will find what he has previously described as a “pin-perfect” site. Later, he clarified his stance, saying he remained optimistic the team can find a stadium solution in the bay area.

“It’s highly likely there will be a workable site,’’ he told the Tampa Bay Times. “So I’m confident.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 24, 2017 at 09:25 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, stadium

Monday, March 20, 2017

Kiermaier extension: Behind the thought process that goes into long-term deals | Tampa Bay Times

All of which allowed starter Jake Odorizzi to feel good about turning down a deal two offseasons ago that would have guaranteed him close to $30 million over six years and could have exceeded $50 million over eight.

“There’s pros and cons, and you’re committed to this for whatever it is, six, seven, eight years,” Odorizzi said. “Sometimes it boils down to, and I hate to say it, but the dollar amount. We all know the money in this game and the value of players and what your value is. And sometimes it just doesn’t match up. That’s just the circumstances.

“It’s a tough decision, really. It’s tough to say no to that large amount of money that a lot of people will never see. It’s something that if you say no to, you can’t think about it. We had talks and we didn’t agree. I completely forgot about it because you can’t think about the what-ifs of it from outing to outing, like if I’m not doing well, like, ‘Oh, man, what if I would have taken the deal and eased my mind, could I be pitching better now? Is this weighing on me?’ But for me it was easy.”

So maybe it is easy, after all.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 20, 2017 at 06:32 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: kevin kiermaier, rays

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Rays, Kevin Kiermaier nearing $50 million extension

The Rays and Kevin Kiermaier are working on a long-term deal that could keep the Gold Glove centerfielder under team control for at least six more years and be worth more than $50 million, the Tampa Bay Times has learned….

Kiermaier, 26, was to make $2.975 million this year after qualifying for arbitration for the first time as a Super Two; the new contract — with an annual average value of nearly $9 million — will start this season.

Kiermaier is eligible for free agency after the 2020 season, so this deal could keep him with the Rays for several years beyond. Based on long-term contracts the Rays have struck with other players, there are likely at least one or two team option years included.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 15, 2017 at 12:05 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: kevin kiermaier, rays

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Could Jake Bauers salvage Rays’ trade of Wil Myers? | Tampa Bay Times

For what it’s worth, Souza is among those who think Bauers could indeed turn out to be a savior.

“He’s very impressive,” Souza said. “I actually made comments to a few people and I even said something to him that he’s going to be a really good player, especially for how old he is. He’s got a really mature personality and approach at the plate. … To be 21 and be slated to go to Triple A, that’s awesome. I’m sure the organization is very happy with that, too.”

The way these trades have played out, they need something to be happy about. And Bauers might have just the sweet swing to salvage the deals.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 05, 2017 at 09:31 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: jake bauers, rays

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Fennelly: Why Rays’ pitching is overrated … for now | Tampa Bay Times

So, for now, it’s overrated.

“Until we put together a season collectively, until we all have that year as a group and we’re playing in the playoffs,” Cobb said. “It’s about the pitching. It’s on us. I’ve always enjoyed embracing that. Because we do get a lot of credit. With that comes pressure. It’s how we deal with it.”

“Just as long as we’re ourselves, we’re fine,” Archer said. “Only time will tell. I’ve said that about the team in general. I can’t tell you whether we’re underrated or overrated until Game 162, or until I actually know where we stand.”

That’s always been the safety net: The Rays have the pitching. Nobody hits, but the Rays have pitching. World to end Friday. Rays to still have pitching Saturday.

Go prove it.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 02, 2017 at 09:21 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Friday, February 24, 2017

MLB views Las Vegas as ‘viable market,’ Rob Manfred says

So build that stadium, Oakland and St. Pete!

Major League Baseball’s softening stance on sports gambling may one day open the door to an untapped market long considered taboo: Las Vegas.

It’s all the rage lately, with the NHL’s 31st franchise set for a Sin City debut next season and the NFL on the brink of following suit. Might MLB join them? Commissioner Rob Manfred is at least open to the idea, a departure from baseball’s longstanding efforts to distance itself from the betting world.


“Las Vegas could be a viable market for us,” Manfred said during his Cactus League news conference Tuesday in Phoenix, via the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I don’t think that the presence of legalized gambling in Las Vegas should necessarily disqualify that market as a potential major league city.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 24, 2017 at 11:51 AM | 89 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, expansion, las vegas, rays

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Rays aren’t heartbroken about losing Wieters to Nationals | Tampa Bay Times

Dollarwise, the Rays were willing to guarantee Wieters around $6 million with a chance, if all incentives were met, to squeak past $10 million. Obviously, with an opening day payroll projected in the low $60 million range, they could have gone further, though they tend to stick to their evaluations — and rarely ever win an auction.

But the Rays had good reason to offer no more than one year — as well as a team policy against player options/opt-outs (or no-trade clauses) — which is why they could only shrug, mildly disappointed at most, that Wieters went to Washington.

And that’s because they have the All-Star catcher who Wieters, ironically, will be trying to replace in Washington, Wilson Ramos.

It was during the early December winter meetings that the Rays made the bold, and potentially brilliant, move of striking a two-year deal with Ramos.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 22, 2017 at 09:56 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: matt wieters, rays

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Alternate history: What wouldn’t have happened if Rays had taken Weeks over Young | Tampa Bay Times

Yes, Delmon Young and Richie Weeks were once drafted first and second overall.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 21, 2017 at 06:45 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Optimizing the Lineup | The Process Report

An interesting look at the Rays lineup. I caution against putting too much credence in simple lineup simulators. In my experience, the best lineups take into account speed and sequencing of lefty-righty batters.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 16, 2017 at 06:40 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

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