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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Tampa Bay Devil Rays

Signed GM Chuck LaMar through the 2006 season.

Extended through 2006?  Puzzling at first glance, but makes sense in that 2006 just happens to be the year in which, if memory serves, MLB can consider contraction again.  And because of this signing, the dunderheads that be have another contractionable team - the team that finished last every year of existence that nobody watches or likes.  Chuck LaMar keeps that result from being in question as the Rays have some actual grapes on the farm that could be turned into wine by a less, uh, intellectually disinclined man.

Dan Szymborski Posted: March 30, 2004 at 02:26 PM | 1 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Dan Szymborski Posted: November 30, 2001 at 03:10 AM (#551865)
Too bad the old Frank Thomas isn't still playing, trading the wrong Frank Thomas for the wrong Kevin Brown would be hilarious, with both Kenny Williams and Chuck LaMar bragging about the great player they picked up.
   2. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: December 01, 2001 at 06:45 AM (#551866)
Dan, these are the Devil Rays. Why does it matter whether the old Frank Thomas is still playing? Trade him to Tampa anyway.
   3. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 02, 2001 at 02:11 AM (#551867)
Duh. If Frank Thomas was still playing, the Orioles would outbid the Devil Rays for him.
   4. Robert Dudek Posted: January 30, 2002 at 09:06 PM (#553580)
Won't Vaughn be DH'ing ? I don't understand why Randy Winn will be making almost a million this year for being an extremely marginal CF when they already have a cheaper, younger version of Winn in Jason Tyner. UGH.
   5. VegasRobb Posted: January 30, 2002 at 10:40 PM (#553583)
Isn't Jared Sandberg supposedly the starter at thirdbase or is that some kind of motivational ploy by the Devils to get Huff in line?
   6. The Original Gary Posted: January 31, 2002 at 12:02 AM (#553585)
Attention Sean Forman. You have a need variation to add to the evil word list.
   7. The Original Gary Posted: January 31, 2002 at 12:02 AM (#553586)
I mean "new".
   8. Stevens Posted: January 31, 2002 at 12:07 AM (#553587)
How far off is Josh Hamilton?
   9. Dan 'The Boy' Werr Posted: January 31, 2002 at 07:30 AM (#553589)
I like Troy O'Leary just for game 5 of the 1999 ALDS. Standing up for all the guys who hit behind the batter that gets intentionally walked. You'd think the Indians would have learned the first time they gave the intentional pass to Nomar.
   10. Greg Franklin Posted: January 31, 2002 at 08:16 PM (#553590)
After TB gets tired of O'Leary, I hope they send him to Milwaukee so he can finish his career where it began. He would be a fan favorite, no doubt.

Hmm, didn't realize he was straight outta Compton.
   11. NTNgod Posted: February 02, 2002 at 12:46 AM (#553595)
O'Leary rejected an offer from the Orioles to sign with the Devil Rays.

If THAT doesn't tell you far Syd & crew have nose-dived, nothing will :)
   12. Shredder Posted: March 27, 2002 at 03:00 PM (#555621)
Martinez is a jerk because in sometime in the late '90s, I can't rememeber the exact year but I think it was '98, the Angels and Royals were involved in a brawl (first major league start for Jarrod Washburn, by the way). It was one of those brawls that started off big, and every time it would settle down, somebody would come in and stir something up. Well, one of the times it started to settle down, there was a group of about 6 or 7 players all sort of holding each other and not really doing anything except maybe jawing at one another (and this is from what I remember seeing on TV, so if someone else remembers it better, feel free to correct me). Martinez went up to that group, reached in while turning hos head the other way, sucker punched somebody, then turned and ran with about 15 Angels chasing after him. I seem to remember a bunch of guys on the Royals saying that they would never play with that guy again. He was sent down very soon thereafter, which probably had more to do with the approximately 23 errors he had made in the week leading up to that game than anything.

You can do a lot of stupid things in baseball and still have the respect of your teammates, but sucker-puching someone, then turning and running apparently isn't one of them. Good Riddance.
   13. Dan Szymborski Posted: March 27, 2002 at 03:14 PM (#555622)
Martinez has had a lot of reported run-ins with teammates and when the Royals first called him up, they held him in limbo for awhile in an attempt to get Martinez some counseling (which apparently wasn't that effective).

The most famous Felix Martinez incident was when, a few years back, the Royals and Angels had a brawl and as it was ending, Martinez suddenly attacked Frank Bolick from behind and even his teammates left him to get beat on. His teammates were even bashing Martinez in the media after that and the Royals had to demote him just to keep the other Royals from killing him.

He also kicked Otis Nixon in the face, which a lot of players thought was clearly intentional, breaking Nixon's jaw.

There were also a lot of reported incidents in the minors, most notably the players on the field having to restrain Martinez to prevent him from attacking an umpire.
   14. User unknown in local recipient table (Craig B) Posted: March 27, 2002 at 05:45 PM (#555624)
Except that Hart only seems interested in signing jerks who can play a little bit. Martinez falls far outside that category.
   15. Dan Szymborski Posted: March 27, 2002 at 08:31 PM (#555627)
I think Martinez ended up serving his suspension a year after the fact.

I think about a dozen players were suspended from that brawl, including most of the Angel starting lineup.
   16. Buddha Posted: March 27, 2002 at 11:12 PM (#555628)
Most of the Angel line-up suspended? Did anyone notice. :)
   17. Aaron Gleeman Posted: March 28, 2002 at 03:56 AM (#555629)
The Felix Martinez kick to the face of Otis Nixon was definitely intentional. I was watching the game...

Nixon was sliding into second base, Martinez had the ball at the bag; he threw it to first and in the process kicked Nixon right in the face.

It broke Nixon's jaw and he had to wear a special batting helmet when he finally came back a while later.
   18. Bob T Posted: March 28, 2002 at 06:44 AM (#555632)
IIRC there is a pitcher from the Brewers-Ms big brawl of the late 1980s who never did his time. If he ever makes a comeback, he's in trouble.
   19. User unknown in local recipient table (Craig B) Posted: March 28, 2002 at 08:41 PM (#555633)
Omar Minaya has just picked up O'Leary on a minor league deal.

Surely it can't be long before Minaya joneses for another meaningless pickup and we see Felix M playing in Ottawa too.
   20. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: March 28, 2002 at 08:59 PM (#555634)
Good thing the White Sox didn't pick up O'Leary. He treats the Indians as his own personal #####.
   21. ColonelTom Posted: May 09, 2002 at 06:27 PM (#556446)
I'd love to see the Phillies give Bobby Smith an opportunity. The guy has talent, but the D-Rays kept yanking him out of the lineup quickly every time he struggled. He's versatile and has some upside, unlike Dave Hollins or John Mabry. And if he hits, he might give the Phils an option at 3B when Rolen departs.
   22. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 09, 2002 at 07:34 PM (#556448)
For the life of me, I can't figure out what's wrong with Bobby Smith. It's puzzling to see a guy have so much success in the minors and flail so badly in the bigs. Here's his combined line over the last four years.

Maj: 456(AB) 090(H) 14(2B) 1(3B) 10(HR) 36(BB) 158(K) .197(BA) .256(OBP) .298(SLG) .554(OPS)
   23. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 09, 2002 at 07:36 PM (#556449)
Glenn, is this the point when we realize that Giambi's some sort of power vampire, slowly leeching the energy from Mabry's career to further his unholy transformation into a slugger supreme?

Sheesh. No wonder the Yankees wanted him...
   24. Jon Daly Posted: May 09, 2002 at 09:11 PM (#556451)
Vlad, if you thought that your pseudonym made discussing the Expos awkward, it makes your mention of vampires look tres freaky.

"For best results, use Daly."
   25. Benji Posted: May 12, 2002 at 10:24 PM (#556452)
If Bobby Smith never resurfaces, I hope he writes a book telling why the heck he bodyslammed Posada a couple years ago. It was funny, but inexplicable.
   26. Klobedanz Posted: May 23, 2002 at 01:46 PM (#556777)
That's cold, Oracle
   27. Sharkbyte Posted: May 23, 2002 at 07:13 PM (#556782)
It should be noted that, for baseball purposes, Walter McCarty for John Mabry would be a roughly even trade.
   28. Voros McCracken Posted: May 23, 2002 at 07:31 PM (#556783)
I'm starting to feel a little bad for Mabry. From most reports he's apparently a nice guy and he certainly can't control who was traded for him. He just happens to be the wrong guy, in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

I wonder if Mark Sweeney and Keith lockhart are standing around saying "There but by the grace of God go I."
   29. Klobedanz Posted: May 23, 2002 at 07:37 PM (#556784)
How does Keith Lockhart keep his job, anyway?
   30. Dag Nabbit at Posted: May 23, 2002 at 11:05 PM (#556788)
Whoah, you mean the world has kept going on after the Mabry trade? Well, whadaya know. . .
   31. Klobedanz Posted: May 30, 2002 at 07:10 PM (#556858)
I saw Toby Hall play alot against Richmond in 2001, he was a beast. I've gotta believe he'll go back up. What do they have to lose? Didn't Durham also have a guy named Budzinski or something, wonder what happened to him.
   32. RJ in TO Posted: May 30, 2002 at 08:44 PM (#556861)
Incidentally, does anyone know if there is a way to check who is on our HACKING MASS Team? I'm just wondering since I can only remember about half of mine, and I'd like to know if I'm still in the running, or if I accidentally (well, purposely at the time) Hillenbrand or something.
   33. Bull Pain Posted: May 30, 2002 at 09:09 PM (#556862)
The Rays cancelled the Tyner bobblehead day, which was supposed to be pretty soon, and is offering refunds to anyone who bought individual tickets to the game.
   34. bob mong Posted: May 30, 2002 at 09:36 PM (#556863)
Rich Rifkin?

Just a random guess...
   35. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: May 30, 2002 at 09:42 PM (#556864)
Hey, based on the comments, maybe Beane will trade Tejada for Caceres in order to really shake up the team.

I would argue that the "more home runs than Tyner in Durham" bit is a bit unfair given that he came up in the Mets system, but on the other hand, I don't think he's hit a home run since high school. (Or at least one out of the park.)

I'll say Chris Dial. (BTW, what's the prize? An Izzy Alcanatara action figure?)
   36. Greg Franklin Posted: May 31, 2002 at 12:32 AM (#556869)
The collective union of the HACKING MASS teams oughta form an organization to protest these inequitous transactions.

Call it the "CARD" PAC -- Committee Against Rash Demotions Political Action Committee.
   37. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 31, 2002 at 03:10 AM (#556872)
It's Syd Thrift, isn't it?
   38. All you Need is Glove Posted: May 31, 2002 at 06:13 PM (#556875)

Who is it?
   39. Chris Dial Posted: June 02, 2002 at 12:17 AM (#556877)
To be fair, I hit mine out at the DAP, not the DBAP. Same batter's box as Ryan Klesko. But it was baseball and it was a bomb, out at the power alley still 20 feet above the fence - highlight of my career. There's third party documentation of it on the web somewhere.
   40. Benji Posted: June 02, 2002 at 09:16 PM (#556883)
I'd take Garth over this year's new Mets...Robbie (Doug Flynn II), Jeromy (200 K's?), Roger (same batting and fielding average) and Moo/Hippo/Chico Vaughn (the most useless player in MLB)...and methinks Garth might outpitch Estes, Weathers and Ferret-Face Strickland least he would entertain, not disgust...
   41. Bob T Posted: June 02, 2002 at 10:35 PM (#556884)
Juan Guzman was let go by the D-Rays in the spring I believe.

If we wait until 2008, he can become the next Jose Rijo.
   42. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 19, 2002 at 02:36 PM (#557769)
Before Alvarez's contract runs out, the D-Rays should at least try and harvest all of his organs, in case Josh Hamilton turns out to need a new kidney or something.
   43. User unknown in local recipient table (Craig B) Posted: July 19, 2002 at 08:32 PM (#557771)
Could you imagine waking up from an operation to find out that they'd put Wilson Alvarez's shoulder into you? Talk about waking up screaming...

(I know, I know, a shoulder is not an organ... and you can't transplant one... still...)
   44. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 23, 2002 at 09:12 PM (#557832)
Creek's a lefty, so he might be worth something to someone.
   45. Mike Emeigh Posted: November 06, 2002 at 11:46 PM (#559207)
I'm guessing that Mottola and Brown provide cheap insurance against a wipeout by Baldelli or Crawford.

-- MWE
   46. Bull Pain Posted: November 07, 2002 at 05:46 AM (#559209)
I would be shocked to see Mottola used as anything other than AAA filler considering the Devil Rays have few organizational outfielders between the Crawford/Baldelli group and the Hamilton/Gomes group. Adrian Brown will at least be better than Jason Tyner, but may not outperform former teammate Emil Brown's '02 Durham numbers.

Mike James is an old man, 35 or 36 I believe. If he can't make the Rays out of the spring, I can't see him taking a AAA assignment. Hell, if you can't make the Devil Rays, you need to find a new profession. They also signed Matt Perisho. He's a good LOOGY when he isn't facing major league caliber hitters.
   47. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 07, 2002 at 07:05 PM (#559210)
I'm sure that Adrian Brown will be an immediate success, inspiring the creation of an Ichiro!-like cult following, if only because he has worked dilligently at the business of confusing and frustrating me (and my other fellow Pirate fans) for the last three years or so.
   48. ColonelTom Posted: November 07, 2002 at 07:50 PM (#559211)
Having escaped from the clutches of Lloyd McClendon, Adrian Brown will probably be an adequate replacement for Randy Winn -- in other words, a decent fourth outfielder who will be overextended in the starting lineup. (Assuming, of course, that the real Randy Winn isn't the 2002 version that did a good impersonation of a starting outfielder last year.)
   49. Mike Emeigh Posted: November 13, 2002 at 12:04 AM (#559301)
Well, since the only other catcher on the D'Rays roster is AAA lifer Paul Hoover, I suspect Pena has a good shot. They don't have anyone else who's close to being ready.

-- MWE
   50. Shredder Posted: November 13, 2002 at 02:40 AM (#559299)
Man, another DiSarcina crack. Poor guy just can't be left alone.
   51. Colin Posted: December 16, 2002 at 03:15 AM (#560704)
I doubt Chuck LaMar could solve a single-color Rubik's Cube.

   52. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 16, 2002 at 03:41 AM (#560707)
Let me know what MLEs you need.
   53. NTNgod Posted: December 16, 2002 at 03:47 AM (#560709)
Outdone for Rey, the Orioles braintrust swiftly moved to sign Deivi Cruz to a one year deal w/ an option for 2004 (seriously, they did)...
   54. NTNgod Posted: December 16, 2002 at 04:24 AM (#560711)
With Rey gone and Cruz off the marktet, I would think this would make Jose Hernandez the front runner to be the Mets SS in 2003.

I don't know that they'd want to push Reyes THAT quickly.
   55. NTNgod Posted: December 16, 2002 at 04:31 AM (#560712)
I suppose Mike Bordick making a 1 yr return to the Mets would be possible as well...
   56. NTNgod Posted: December 16, 2002 at 04:41 AM (#560713)
Russ Johnson is one of the PTBNL.
   57. Alan Posted: December 16, 2002 at 05:10 AM (#560716)
Rossy, I'd be happy to help in some way. E-mail me.
   58. Snowboy Posted: December 16, 2002 at 05:26 PM (#560723)
2002 Chris Gomez: 264/304/409. The only SS who hit more doubles was Nomar (who led the AL.) More 2B than ARod, Tejada, Jeter, etc.

2002 Rey Ordonez: 254/291/323. More errors, fewer DPs than Gomez.

Gomez is no allstar, but he deserves to be a starter, and carries off the role. I think we should add San Antonio, Midland, and Jacksonville to the list of those who would finish ahead of Tampa Bay.
   59. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 16, 2002 at 05:47 PM (#560724)
Here's a quote from Gammons's latest (

"The Mets put $4.25 million in the deal that sent Rey Ordonez to Tampa for Russ Johnson and a player to be named later. Originally, they were supposed to take Ben Grieve's $5.5 million salary to offset the Ordonez money, then planned to send Grieve to Boston for John Burkett. 'We decided that we'd rather pay off the $4.25 million than have Burkett,' says a Mets official. But Boston turned down an Andy Ashby-Burkett deal, as the Dodgers are trying to move Ashby's salary.

Johnson won't be announced until after Monday's Rule 5 Draft."

Johnson's probably a better shortstop at this point than Ordonez, even if you consider the lack of range and possibility of disruptive proselytization. The Mets would also have been better served to get and keep Grieve, who isn't any worse than their other starting outfielders and might be much better. Maybe he'd do better outside of Tampa Bay; he's still got a pretty impressive list of comps on B-R, and he is only 26.

It's good to see that Cam's still up to his old tricks, and it's better to see him doing it somewhere else.
   60. ColonelTom Posted: December 16, 2002 at 11:15 PM (#560728)
I wonder if Rey-Rey will battle with Jason Tyner for the leadoff slot...
   61. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: January 07, 2003 at 02:09 AM (#562457)
With the single greatest post in the history of
   62. Bill Posted: January 07, 2003 at 02:45 AM (#562460)
Words can hardly express how impressed I am that Larry could pull up some obscure two-year old Internet posting like that on a moment's notice. Now, can you tell us what started the rumor that Chris Truby is amajor-league player?
   63. Dag Nabbit at Posted: January 07, 2003 at 03:01 AM (#562462)
"Now, can you tell us what started the rumor that Chris Truby is amajor-league player?"

He isn't. He's a Devil Ray.
   64. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: January 07, 2003 at 03:52 AM (#562463)
Words can hardly express how impressed I am that Larry could pull up some obscure two-year old Internet posting like that on a moment's notice.

Don't be. I first heard the Truby joke here when he got traded to the Expos last spring. A simple Google search of USENET, and I found it in a couple of seconds.
   65. Bill Posted: January 07, 2003 at 04:03 AM (#562465)
I assume Sid Fernandez will carry the Hawaii delegation in the HOF voting tomorrow.
   66. Snowboy Posted: January 07, 2003 at 05:57 AM (#562468)
Today Tampa signed "3B" Chris Truby to minor league deal, Colorado waiver claimed "3B" Kevin Eberwein. Sometimes I feel sorry for the teams at the bottom. Other times, I think it's their own fault.
   67. User unknown in local recipient table (Craig B) Posted: January 07, 2003 at 04:16 PM (#562470)
Eberwein was in the Padres system, he's a third baseman who used to be a prospect, but he'll be 26 before this season starts and he has never hit much above A-ball. He has been hurt a lot and if he is turning the corner after his injuries, he still might turn into a useful backup. It's pretty doubtful... he hasn't hit nearly as well as Chris Truby.
   68. User unknown in local recipient table (Craig B) Posted: January 07, 2003 at 11:24 PM (#562477)

He went to school in Hawaii.

Question for those knowledgable : is it actually supposd to be "Hawaii", or "Hawai'i"?
   69. User unknown in local recipient table (Craig B) Posted: January 07, 2003 at 11:25 PM (#562478)
And is it supposed to be "supposd", or "supposed"?
   70. John Posted: January 08, 2003 at 02:55 AM (#562482)
Um, in 192 career PA against LHP Truby is .281/.327/.551

Wow. Overall, he's .228/.264/.390 in 835 PA. Do the math, and then ask yourself how in the hell--pardon the pun--he's been allowed ~600 PA's against RHP? It's almost like he made a deal wi...oh, nevermind.
   71. Srul Itza Posted: January 08, 2003 at 03:05 AM (#562483)
Here's the funny thing - I guarantee that this was the lead story in Honolulu tonight. Apparently, Truby's from Oahu or played high school ball there, and the 10:00 news sports highlights always feature him or Agbayani. Like, "Oahu's own Chris Truby went 1 for 5, getting this single (highlight flashes), but the Detroit Tigers still lost 8 - 2." One night last June, Agbayani was on injury rehab, and the lead was: "The Colorado Sky Sox won 12-4, but Benny Agbayani didn't see any action."

I have been living in Honolulu since 1989. And Truby has never led the news, any more than Mike Fetters or Benny Agbayani. The UH Volleyball team are more likely to lead the news than they are, unless they are playing the World Series.

BTW -- how come nobody comments on the fact that Truby went to DAMIEN Memorial High School?
   72. Srul Itza Posted: January 08, 2003 at 03:10 AM (#562484)
By the way the ' in Hawai'i is a glottal stop, and the punctuation mark (which is actually a backwards apostrophe) is referred to as an 'okina. It is common in many words here, especially where there are back-to-back vowel signs. I live in Kuliou'ou, pronounced
   73. NTNgod Posted: January 09, 2003 at 06:39 AM (#562489)
Since Clearwater is near the Tampa Bay area, maybe it turns out Truby has just been misunderstood this whole time.
   74. User unknown in local recipient table (Craig B) Posted: January 17, 2003 at 09:47 PM (#563627)
What are your thoughts on Sandberg?

No one asked me, but the more I have seen Sandberg the more he reminds me of Shane Andrews, who used to show teasing signs of being a power hitter as well. Andrews is Sandberg's #2 comp at age 24, but it's much more than that. Sandberg can handle third OK and isn't a butcher; Andrews was also passable defensively. Neither makes anything resembling consistent contact, both swing for the fences a lot and striking out too much is their defining characteristic.

Andrews never got it together; I doubt Sandberg will, but I can see him playing three or four more years before the Devil Rays figure that out.
   75. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 18, 2003 at 04:25 AM (#563632)
I've gone from extremely pessemistic to neutral on the Sandberg question. The back problems worry me more than the BA, since most of his value comes from his power.
   76. PhillyBooster Posted: February 08, 2003 at 03:14 AM (#564865)
I'm sure there is some sort of statistical way to say this, but, in general, if you have two or three guys who are at a little over replacement level, chances are pretty good that at least one of them will overperform his true ability. You won't know who it is in advance, but chances are either Lee or Stevens will be better than predicted.
   77. PhillyBooster Posted: February 08, 2003 at 03:15 AM (#564866)
That said, I'm sure as heck glad Lee's not in Philadelphia anymore.
   78. fracas' hope springs eternal Posted: February 08, 2003 at 03:44 AM (#564867)
What is a "mutual option" in this case? Does that mean either side can exercise the option, or that both must for it to be activated? If Lee can exercise it, then the Rays are idiots (I know: they are in any case). If both sides must exercise it, it seems nearly pointless to have the option.

In a related question, does the term "mutual option" always have the same meaning, or does it vary from contract to contract?
   79. Andrew Edwards Posted: February 08, 2003 at 03:57 AM (#564869)
For all we put him down, a good glove (even at 1B) and a .341 OBP is probably worth $500k. He's nothing like a starter on a playoff team, but to plug a hole while you build your youth, well, you could do worse (Karros, e.g.).
   80. VegasRobb Posted: February 08, 2003 at 12:03 PM (#564872)
Well if Lee could trigger the option by himself it'd be a "player" option. If the D-Rays could trigger it by themselves, then it would be a "team" option. Since it's a mutual option, both sides need to agree or else it's a moot point.

Oh and I think it's just another plot to keep Huff down.

That's my thoughts on this anyways :)
   81. Walt Davis Posted: February 08, 2003 at 06:26 PM (#564878)
Dan, you sure you got the numbers right? The story I read said a $2.5 M option with a $500 k buyout.

For those who don't realize, that buyout would make this a $1M deal for this year, not a $500 k deal. The story I read also said he could get up to $500 k in incentives this year.

Also, folks, one of the few decent players the Rays have is Aubrey Huff, who is a 1B/DH. With fellow DH types Lee Stevens, Ben Grieve, and Greg Vaughn all around, Lee is a bad signing for this team at any price. Signing an OK hitting defensive OF so they could keep Grieve at DH and Huff at 1B would be one thing.

Mutual options usually work this way: the player gets an option at a lower price, the team gets an option at a higher price. Sometimes there's a buyout allowing the team to forego the player option, but generally it is not a case where both sides have to agree.

For example, a couple years back, Ricky Gutierrez had a mutual option with the Cubs. Ricky could exercise the option at I think $2 M. He declined, figuring he could do better on the open market. The Cubs then had a decision: whether to exercise their option (around $3.5 I think) or let him go. They exercised the option.

If Ricky had had a lousy season, it probably would have gone the other way, with the Cubs declining the $3.5M option, leaving Ricky to decide whether to exercise his $2M option.
   82. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: February 09, 2003 at 07:18 PM (#564882)
I don't have the stats in front of me, but IIRC, Lee was an absolute monster in the minors. I know that he's done nothing but regress since then, but I have to say that I'd be happy if my team took a chance on him.

Of all the minor league stars to bomb in recent years, Lee is one of the more surprising failures IMHO. Not only was he a top prospect because of his tools, he had the performance to match them.

Weird. I wouldn't be at all surprised if he pulled a Phil Nevin and switched the light on. Of course, he doesn't have too much time left.
   83. Aaron Gleeman Posted: February 10, 2003 at 01:53 AM (#564883)
Yep, Lee was very good in the minors:

.363/.473/.690 at Single-A
   84. Walt Davis Posted: February 10, 2003 at 04:37 PM (#564887)
But isn't Huff, who's had some ML success, a better bet to be the next Nevin, Burnitz, etc. (or better)?

There's also a big difference between Lee and the guys he's being compared to -- those guys never got much ML playing time. None of them got a full season before their age 28 seasons, so it makes some sense that they would have trouble turning their minor league numbers into ML ones. Lee has over 2700 ML PA under his belt.

And if he does turn into the next Nevin, he can walk away from the Rays either this year or next (when he wouldn't be cheap), so is it going to do that much good?

I wouldn't have a problem if they had taken a chance on an OF like Lee, somebody to slot into RF/LF, pushing Grieve to DH and Vaughn to the bench. That's probably a significant defensive upgrade, helps your offense a little, and if the guy does blossom, he's not taking PA away from any of your young players. Heck, if they just put Lee in LF/RF instead of 1B, this becomes a better move.
   85. bob mong Posted: February 10, 2003 at 04:39 PM (#564888)
Dave Pinto (Baseball Musings) actually kinda likes this move by the D-Rays:

Doing all this research, I believe the DRays are going in the right direction. They have a pitching staff that doesn't strike out a lot of batters, so the ability to turn a batted ball into an out is extremely important to them. They were horrible defensively at first, so getting a good fielder there is okay. As for Lee bouncing back offensively, I think there are some positives there. From what I've heard of Travis, the complaint isn't about his talent, it's about his lack of drive, a lack of competitiveness. I think it's going to be difficult to play for Lou Piniella and have a bad attitude.
   86. bob mong Posted: February 10, 2003 at 11:50 PM (#564890)
The MLE for the AAA part is .257/.323/.453 (1998 STATS Minor League Handbook), which is a dead ringer for his two best seasons in the majors (both .775 OPS).

Yeah, but he was 22 years old then (1997).
   87. Law Boy Posted: February 15, 2003 at 09:15 PM (#564985)
HA HA HA! This is hilarious!
   88. Dag Nabbit at Posted: February 16, 2003 at 04:45 AM (#564993)
"Manager Lou Piniella isn't necessarily looking for closer with overpowering stuff. With little to choose from, he would settle for a closer who throws strikes and fields his position well."

Well, he ain't gonna find one. Not on this team. But it ain't that big a deal - how often will the D-Rays need a closer?

What he needs are a half-dozen mop up men. Maybe Doug Dascenzo will come out of retirement. His W/9IP ratio is better than most of the D-Rays's relievers marks last years. Really.
   89. MM1f Posted: February 18, 2003 at 01:14 AM (#565001)
Since thread is otherwise useless, why hasn't Rickey Henderson at least gotten an NRI yet?

I mean what's the harm in an NRI, he's better than many 5th OFs out there.
   90. MM1f Posted: February 18, 2003 at 01:15 AM (#565002)
Since thread is otherwise useless, why hasn't Rickey Henderson at least gotten an NRI yet?

I mean what's the harm in an NRI, he's better than many 5th OFs out there.
   91. MM1f Posted: February 18, 2003 at 01:15 AM (#565003)
Since thread is otherwise useless, why hasn't Rickey Henderson at least gotten an NRI yet?

I mean what's the harm in an NRI, he's better than many 5th OFs out there.
   92. . . . . . . . . . . Posted: February 20, 2003 at 07:27 PM (#565014)
Kenny Roger's Plea to Sweet Lou:

On a warm summer's evenin', at a game bound for nowhere,
   93. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: February 20, 2003 at 09:40 PM (#565015)
Okay, let's get the Primey nomination for dzop out of the way right now. Speaking of which, I think next year the PETCO thread should recieve some type of special Primey award, like an honorary Oscar.
   94. Ephus Posted: April 11, 2003 at 01:24 PM (#565609)
Does the Number 7 train run to Tropicana Field?

On a baseball note, Rocker seemed to lose his control as he lost his self-control. If Pinella could harnass Dibble, Charlton and Randy Myers, maybe he could get Rocker back in tow.

If Rocker rebounds, he would make great August trade bait.
   95. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 11, 2003 at 05:54 PM (#565611)
Things aren't going to get worse if he blows up (again), so there's no harm in taking a look.
   96. reno dakota Posted: April 11, 2003 at 07:42 PM (#565615)
rocker will have no trade value ever for the rest of his career, unless he magically turns into trevor hoffman and keeps his fool mouth shut for about three seasons.

he's got a much brighter future in the wwe, i think...
   97. Ben Posted: April 11, 2003 at 08:52 PM (#565616)
Rocker lost it well after his comments. It was the trade to Cleveland that made him suck, it seems.

And as for no trade value, if he puts up a 3.00 ERA, people will want to trade for him, reno. Nobody should care about #### he said 4 years ago, and judging that the Indians were willing to trade two pretty good relievers for him a year and a half ago...
   98. Greg Franklin Posted: April 24, 2003 at 12:40 AM (#562490)
The Devil Rays "summoned" Truby to the big leagues today. Damian Rolls and Ben Grieve went on the DL with finger injuries.
   99. Greg Franklin Posted: May 09, 2003 at 11:05 PM (#565762)
Truby was DFA'd today after 13 games. He was hitting 279/354/349 -- not that horrid.

That type of hitting and his usual slick fielding would help the Tigers at 3B, except they already have a 3B. Did the Dark Lord really order this? We'll see if Munson gets hurt, I guess.
   100. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 10, 2003 at 04:42 PM (#565763)
Mr. Steinbrenner, don't you already have a team to run?
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