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Friday, January 30, 2015

The Rays’ Kind of Fastball | FanGraphs Baseball

More good stuff from Jeff Sullivan.

Last season, Rays pitchers threw 56% of their fastballs at least two and a half feet off the ground, which is approximately the vertical middle of the strike zone. This was the highest rate for any team in baseball. The Nationals finished second, but they’ve also lost prolific high-fastball throwers in Tyler Clippard and Rafael Soriano. They’ve been open to moving Jordan Zimmermann. The league average, by the way, was a hair under 48%.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 30, 2015 at 08:39 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, sabermetrics

Monday, January 12, 2015

Ian Desmond, Ben Zobrist were part of Nationals-Mets-Rays trade discussion | FOX Sports

The Nationals would have sent Desmond to the Rays for Zobrist and Escobar, the two players the Rays traded to the Athletics on Saturday. The Rays then would have flipped Desmond to the Mets.

The roadblock was the Rays’ request for two top Mets prospects from a list of three – a price the Mets considered too steep for Desmond, who is entering his free-agent year.

The Rays’ wish list included right-hander Noah Syndergaard, the Mets’ No. 1 prospect according to Baseball America. The other two targets are not known.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 12, 2015 at 06:22 AM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, nationals, rays, trade rumors

Saturday, January 10, 2015

A look at the A’s deal for Ben Zobrist, Yunel Escobar

Another slow news day and BOOM!

With the additions of Ben Zobrist, who will become Oakland’s primary second baseman, and shortstop Yunel Escobar, the A’s are likely done assembling their 2015 team – and there is little doubt they plan to contend.

Zobrist was hotly pursued by numerous teams this winter, including the Giants, but the fact that Oakland could also find a spot for Escobar probably helped the A’s complete the deal.  The A’s will send catcher John Jaso to the Rays along with two minor-leaguers, top shortstop prospect Daniel Robertson and outfielder Boog Powell.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 10, 2015 at 01:35 PM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, ben zobrist, boog powell, daniel robertson, john jaso, rays, yunel escobar

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Zobrist decision not an easy one for Rays | MLB.com

The Rays can afford to wait on dealing Zobrist.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 01, 2015 at 10:27 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: ben zobrist, rays

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Asdrubal Cabrera to join Rays

Its a shame about the Rays.

The Tampa Bay Rays have agreed to a one-year deal with infielder Asdrubal Cabrera, a source told ESPN’s Buster Olney, confirming multiple reports….

The shortstop played second base for the Washington Nationals at the end of last season after he was acquired in a trade deadline deal from the Cleveland Indians.

A two-time All-Star, Cabrera batted .229 with five home runs and 21 RBIs for the Nationals in 49 games after the trade. In total, between both teams, he finished last season batting .241 with 14 homers and 61 RBIs.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 31, 2014 at 02:18 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: asdrubal cabrera, free agents, indians, nationals, rays

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Despite losses, Orioles still perched on top in AL East - Sports - The Boston Globe

No excuse? How about if the price tags on the available starters are unreasonable? Don’t get me wrong. Getting an ace would be great. Getting an ace at the expense of too much talent, though, is a price they shouldn’t be willing to pay. That’s especially true if you believe having the ace will only get the team to 84-88 wins.

To do: Find an ace. The Red Sox have no excuse for leaving themselves short in this area. They have player and financial resources to obtain free agents such as Max Scherzer or James Shields, and trade for Cole Hamels, David Price, or Jordan Zimmermann. John Henry said the team can go over the $189 million luxury tax threshold for a year. And they need another lefty in the bullpen.

Ugh.

5. As fun as it is to pore over some sabermetric stats, batting average, home runs, and RBIs pretty much tell the story of a hitter. For a top-of-the-order speed guy, walks, on-base percentage, and stolen bases do the same.

Backup job at DH?

8. Ryan Lavarnway, C, Orioles — The Orioles were the fourth team Lavarnway ended up with in December, when he was passed around on waivers from Boston to the Dodgers to the Cubs and now to the Orioles. Lavarnway could compete for a backup job at DH.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 28, 2014 at 02:50 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, orioles, rays, red sox, yankees

Friday, December 26, 2014

Tampa Bay Rays Ben Zobrist can play infield and outfield, is 33 and will be a free agent after next season, so it’s time to examine potential trade partners because it makes sense that the Rays will try to move him | FOX Sports

From what I have read and heard from the Rays front office, they aren’t throwing in the towel on competing in 2015. I don’t see them trading Zobrist unless they start off next season poorly.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 26, 2014 at 08:40 AM | 63 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

How’s that Wil Myers trade look now?

Here are three Wil Myers stories that might be of interest:

1.) During one spring training, there was a video made that featured Wil Myers and George Brett. The Royals Hall of Famer was going to show the Royals prospect how to put pine tar on a bat, but the Royals prospect started arguing … with George Brett … about pine tar. A small thing, but it might have indicated an attitude problem.

2.) While Myers was in the Rays minor-league system, he said he didn’t need a two-strike approach — he was a run a producer. Even though his team was asking him to adjust his swing once he had two strikes, Myers didn’t think it was necessary — and that definitely indicates an attitude problem.

3.) Nevertheless, Myers made it to the big leagues, and one day he was playing right field against the Royals. During that game, I saw Rays centerfielder David DeJesus moving Myers into the right position. I don’t know if that was a regular occurrence, but if it was, that means that Myers hadn’t studied the spray charts and wasn’t paying attention to his outfield coach.

I bet Wil Myers never even answered George’s question about if he ever pooped his pants.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 23, 2014 at 11:48 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: padres, rays, royals, wil myers

Friday, December 19, 2014

How the Rays lost the City Council vote - DRaysBay

Naked greed is never appealing.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 19, 2014 at 09:06 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, stadium deals

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 | 21 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 | 121 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

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