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Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Rays’ Influence Continues in Playoffs Despite Their Elimination

Bloom’s Red Sox won the best-of-five series in four games. It was a sign of just how deeply the Rays’ style has now taken root across MLB. (Consider that the other ALDS featured an Astros team helmed by their former Tampa Bay coworker James Click, while their old boss, Andrew Friedman, was once again leading his reigning champion Dodgers in the NLDS.) It was also, from a personal standpoint, a bit weird.

“Erik’s like my brother,” Bloom said. “We grew up together in this game. We’re extremely close.”

Until recently, their careers took paths that made them look like not just brothers, but twins. They’re the same age, 38, born less than three months apart. Both men started with the Rays as interns—Bloom in 2005 and Neander in 2007. They worked their way up the ranks together, and by 2012, both had the title of director of baseball operations. In 2014, after Friedman decamped for L.A., the two were promoted on the same day to become joint vice presidents of baseball ops. But after the 2016 season, their roads began to diverge ever so slightly: Bloom became senior vice president of baseball operations while Neander became senior vice president of baseball operations and general manager. (The story of their careers is, as much as anything, a snapshot of the myriad expanded titles that have evolved in the game over the last decade.) Neander has since switched out the “general manager” part of his title for “president of baseball operations” and signed a multiyear extension. Bloom, meanwhile, left to become the chief baseball officer of the Red Sox in 2019.

Which landed them in that quiet moment together a few hours before Game 1 in St. Petersburg. They caught up. They snapped a picture together. And then they went their separate ways for what became a roller coaster of a series.

“We both want to win,” Neander said. “But we both have plenty of appreciation, as friends, for the roles we’re in. It’s pretty cool.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 13, 2021 at 02:10 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Rays’ ground-rule double in 13th causes confusion

Kevin Kiermaier rounded third base, was informed of what had happened out near the right-field bullpens, and threw his hands into the air. So had the umpires, signaling a ground-rule double—one of the most bizarre seen yet at Fenway Park, a century-old venue where odd bounces seem to be a nightly occurrence.

Kiermaier’s drive in the top of the 13th inning would have sent home Yandy Díaz with a go-ahead run, but a fluky bounce—the ball hit the wall, then struck Red Sox outfielder Hunter Renfroe before hopping into the Boston bullpen—turned out to be a crucial moment in Game 3 of the American League Division Series, which was ultimately won by the Red Sox, 6-4, in 13.

With an on-field ruling of ground-rule double upheld following a Tampa Bay challenge, Kiermaier was sent back to second base, and more crucially, Díaz had to return to third base—where he was stranded, with Nick Pivetta striking out Mike Zunino to end the inning.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 10, 2021 at 11:29 PM | 91 comment(s)
  Beats: ground rule double, rays, red sox

Monday, September 27, 2021

TB progressing with Montreal Sister City plan

While expressing club officials’ desire to be “very considerate” about keeping their focus on the field, Rays president Matt Silverman revealed the team will soon be “more visible and more vocal” regarding its Sister City plan to split future seasons between the Tampa Bay area and Montreal.

During an interview on the This Week in Rays Baseball pregame radio show, Silverman said the Rays will unveil a sign representing the plan at Tropicana Field during the playoffs.

“For the postseason, we’re going to add a sign in the right-field foul territory with a very simple Tampa Bay Montreal graphic. Especially with the eyes of baseball on us this October, we want that visible symbol of our plan and our excitement for it,” Silverman said during his radio interview. “It’ll mark the effort subtly and keep the focus on winning and winning games in October and getting to that final game, maybe, and finally winning it for the first time in franchise history.”

The Rays first unveiled the Sister City concept in June 2019, when Major League Baseball’s executive council granted the club permission to explore the possibility of playing a schedule with home games split between the Tampa Bay area and Montreal. At the time, Commissioner Rob Manfred said the plan would aim to “preserve baseball in Tampa, but improve the economics of the club overall by playing some of their games in Montreal.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 27, 2021 at 01:17 PM | 63 comment(s)
  Beats: montreal, rays

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Rays grab data card shaken loose from Kirk’s wrist, deny Blue Jays’ request to return it

Kevin Kiermaier grabbed a Toronto Blue Jays data card shaken loose from Alejandro Kirk’s wristband during a play at the plate and the Tampa Bay Rays later laughed off a request to return the proprietary sheet.

The incident during the bottom of the sixth inning in Monday’s 6-4 Rays win added another element of intrigue to the rivalry between the AL East clubs.

Several Blue Jays declined to discuss the matter while Rays general manager Erik Neander deferred comment, saying he had just learned of Kiermaier’s actions and was headed to the clubhouse to better understand what happened.

Rays manager Kevin Cash later came out of the clubhouse to chat with Blue Jays counterpart Charlie Montoyo.

Asked about the matter, captured on video, Kiermaier said that he didn’t realize it was the Blue Jays’ card when he picked it up. “I never even looked at it, I’ll say that,” he said. “But at the same time, I’m not going to drop it or hand it back.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 21, 2021 at 09:38 PM | 104 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, rays

Monday, September 13, 2021

Who will be the first to wear a Rays, Marlins, or Nationals cap to Cooperstown?

The Montreal Expos had three players enter the Hall wearing their cap, but no one has gone in wearing the curly W since the franchise relocated and rebranded in 2005. There are a few former and current Nationals on track for Cooperstown, though. Bryce Harper is well on his way with 38.4 bWAR through his age-28 season, but at this point, it seems unlikely Harper would choose to wear a Nationals hat on his plaque. Two injury-marred seasons have derailed Stephen Strasburg’s chances, but he still has time to correct course.

Neither is as likely as Max Scherzer, though. Scherzer has already amassed 66.8 bWAR, and he’ll more than likely reach 3,000 strikeouts in his next start. He has three Cy Young Awards, eight All-Star appearances, and a World Series ring. He also shares the record for most strikeouts in a single game. The question isn’t whether Scherzer is a Hall of Famer. He most certainly is. It’s whether he’ll choose Washington.

Most of Scherzer’s best moments came with the Nationals, but he’s been with three other teams. He won one of his Cy Youngs with Detroit, and he also helped them to an American League pennant in 2012. His career isn’t close to over either. We don’t know what he’ll do with the Dodgers or whichever team signs him this winter. Spreading his rings and his accolades around could cause him to not choose any team like Greg Maddux.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 13, 2021 at 11:02 AM | 50 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, marlins, nationals, rays

Friday, September 10, 2021

The Rays’ Unique Ability To Mitigate Risk

Indeed, the Rays as a whole avoid disastrous reliever outings better than anyone in the league thanks to great scouting, impressive analytical work, talent-enhancing coaching and development, and a manager who knows exactly when to use each player based on matchups and game situations. These lower percentages lead to much smaller overall risk. While the Yankees would be nearly even odds to get a disastrous relief outing out of their five most-used ‘pen arms, the odds of this Rays group getting through a game en masse without a CTB outing are nearly three-fourths. By developing this pitching staff, along with strategies to maximize performance, the team has positioned themselves to survive postseason games with a ‘pen game strategy at an efficacy rate of nearly 50% greater than most clubs. And while much of that is because of pure-minded baseball thinking, there is also an underrated cultural aspect to it.

“The fact that they have either gotten buy-in or forced it on relievers who they need to be ready anytime and who don’t have more traditional roles is probably a long-run contributor to increased pitching success,” explained the American League staffer. “I think defined bullpen roles in general are a good thing and I’m not sure you could do what Tampa is doing universally across personnel, but maybe the lack of a traditional role can be a role in and of itself.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 10, 2021 at 10:48 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Thursday, September 09, 2021

Rays promote Neander, reach multiyear deal

The Rays agreed to a multiyear extension with Erik Neander on Wednesday and named him president of baseball operations, promoting him from his previous title of general manager/senior vice president and ensuring that their top baseball operations official will remain right where he wants to be.

Neander, 38, began his tenure with the Rays as a baseball operations intern in 2007, was hired full-time later that year and has worked for Tampa Bay ever since. This is his fourth season as the organization’s top-ranking baseball official, and during that time he’s overseen the creation of a Major League roster that is once again among the best in the American League, along with a Minor League system that ranks among the best in baseball.

“It was a dream opportunity then, and it’s a dream opportunity now,” Neander said on a Zoom call Wednesday evening. “There’s been plenty of mistakes and misfires and growth along the way, but also a lot of wins. And I think with this, I can guarantee that the mistakes and the growth will certainly continue, and it’s our goal and belief that our collective efforts will lead to our best wins still being ahead of us.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 09, 2021 at 08:39 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: erik neander, rays

Sunday, August 29, 2021

The Rays Are Winning Efficiently, but at What Cost?

They also have done it with an offense that has struck out more times than any team but the Tigers, and with a pitching carousel that has churned through 66 different pitchers—more than half of whom (34) lasted less than 15 appearances. If this is the new model, the players association should be concerned. The Rays are wickedly smart, and, in the business of winning baseball games efficiently, no franchise does it better. But in the business of entertaining, the style does not sell. What should bother the PA is how players, especially pitchers, are being treated as fungible assets.


The churn rate in Tampa Bay is so high that the Rays:

• Used a franchise record 35 pitchers to play the first 110 games this year.

• Made 173 procedural moves with pitchers in the first 144 days of this season.

• Placed a pitcher on the injured list 31 times in the first 21 weeks.

• Used five or more pitchers in a game 50 times this year.

• Have only five pitchers left on the roster from 2019, including only one from the 11 used in the 2019 ALDS on their active roster today (Ryan Yarbrough).

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 29, 2021 at 10:14 PM | 58 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Thursday, August 12, 2021

The real Hit Show? These Rays rank among majors’ most offensive

The Rays walk a lot, their 417 free passes ranking second most in the AL (and sixth overall), and their related .317 on-base percentage sixth best in the AL (tied for 14th overall).

But they don’t hit for much average, their .235 tied for 11th in the AL (and 22nd overall). They strike out a ton, leading the majors with 1,116, an average of nearly 10 per game. And they don’t hit well with runners in scoring position, their .240 average overall ranking 12th (and tied for 22nd) and their .222 with RISP and two outs 10th (and tied for 19th).

No team in modern major-league history has finished a season with the Rays’ 5.09 runs per game and as low of an average as they have.

So how have they done it?

By scoring big when they get to play outside the Trop, leading the majors in road runs, with 310, and ranking second (to the Giants) in home runs, with 81. At home they rank 11th with 260 runs and 18th with 66 homers.

By scoring in bunches, posting 10 or more runs 11 times (fifth most in the majors), including Friday and Saturday in Baltimore.

By having a mix of offensive weapons, with power (one of five teams to have at least three players with 20 homers; Brandon Lowe, Austin Meadows, Mike Zunino), experience (especially after adding Nelson Cruz), patience (Ji-Man Choi, Yandy Diaz), youth (led by Wander Franco) and a plethora of platoon advantages.

And, perhaps most distinctively, by scoring late, with 215 of those 571 runs — nearly 40 percent — coming from the seventh inning on.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 12, 2021 at 10:44 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Monday, August 02, 2021

Rays, Cubs Discussed Potential Trade Involving Tyler Glasnow And Kris Bryant/Craig Kimbrel

The Rays were known to be in discussions with the Cubs last Friday about swinging a deal to land Kris Bryant and/or Craig Kimbrel. Ken Rosenthal and Dennis Lin of the Athletic shed some light on the talks, noting that the teams kicked around various potential frameworks — including ones worked around Tyler Glasnow or Kevin Kiermaier.

Moving Glasnow would’ve been part of a larger package deal that sent Bryant and Kimbrel to Tampa Bay, Rosenthal writes. It’d have been a fascinating development, since Glasnow’s one of the best pitchers in the league when healthy but facing a prolonged absence. The 27-year-old tossed 88 innings of 2.66 ERA/2.89 SIERA ball before suffering a UCL tear in mid-June. He’s spent the past six weeks attempting to rehab the injury, but reports from over the weekend suggest he’s likely to require Tommy John surgery, which would keep him out of action for most or all of the 2022 season.

The Rays made the Cubs aware of that possibility in discussions, Rosenthal notes; Tampa Bay wasn’t hoping to sneak Glasnow through a trade without the Cubs noticing he would probably need to go under the knife. Indeed, Glasnow’s forthcoming surgery was a significant roadblock in that kind of deal getting done.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 02, 2021 at 05:12 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: craig kimbrel, cubs, rays, tyler glasnow

Friday, July 30, 2021

Seattle fills closer role in deal for TB’s Diego Castillo

The Mariners have found their bullpen replacement for Kendall Graveman, as the club acquired Rays closer Diego Castillo on Thursday.

In exchange, Seattle will part with reliever JT Chargois and third baseman Austin Shenton, one of its more coveted prospects.

SEA gets: RHP Diego Castillo
TB gets: RHP JT Chargois, 3B Austin Shenton (Mariners No. 17 prospect)

On paper, this one will probably be much more well-received than the deal that sent Graveman to Houston on Tuesday and left an emotional clubhouse confused at the trajectory of general manager Jerry Dipoto’s Deadline strategy. Though Graveman’s numbers are superior and his veteran leadership and imprint on his teammates can’t be positively quantified enough, Castillo has also been stellar.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 30, 2021 at 09:52 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: diego castillo, mariners, rays

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Rays Acquire Nelson Cruz From Twins

Tampa Bay hopes Cruz, the 41-year-old slugger and seven-time All-Star, will fortify the club’s lineup and make it a more formidable group down the stretch, especially against left-handed pitchers.

Rays get: DH Nelson Cruz, RHP Calvin Faucher

Twins get: RHP Joe Ryan (Rays’ No. 10 prospect per MLB Pipeline) and RHP Drew Strotman (No. 17)


Wednesday, July 07, 2021

5 Rays combine for 7-inning no-hitter

The only official no-hitter in Rays history still belongs to Matt Garza, who went nine innings without allowing a hit against the Tigers on July 26, 2010. What five Rays pitchers accomplished in their 4-0 win over the Indians on Wednesday afternoon at Tropicana Field won’t be remembered quite the same way, but it won’t be forgotten anytime soon, either.

Collin McHugh, Josh Fleming, Diego Castillo, Matt Wisler and Pete Fairbanks pitched a combined seven-inning no-hitter that won’t go in the record books as an official no-hitter, much like Madison Bumgarner’s solo seven-inning effort for the D-backs on April 25. Fairbanks pumped his fist and shouted when right fielder Vidal Bruján made a leaping grab at the warning track for the final out, but there was no dogpile near the mound, no raucous celebration around the infield.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Major League Baseball’s official statistician, neither a team nor an individual pitcher will be credited with an official no-hitter in a scheduled seven-inning game of a doubleheader—unless that game goes to extras. Per Elias, any game of fewer than nine innings in which a pitcher or pitchers do not allow a hit should be considered as a “notable achievement.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 07, 2021 at 07:02 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: no-hitter, rays

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Rays call up top prospect Wander Franco

The Rays have decided the future is now and are calling up top prospect Wander Franco for Tuesday’s game.

Franco, 20, has been playing for Triple-A Durham, where he is hitting .315 with seven homers, 35 RBIs and a .954 OPS in 39 games. He was told the news as the Bulls were busing from Norfolk, Va., to Jacksonville for their next series.

Franco, the multi-talented switch-hitting infielder, will instead be heading to Tropicana Field for the opener of a three-game series against the Red Sox on Tuesday night.

Moves to add Franco to the 40-man roster and the 25-man active roster still have to be finalized.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 20, 2021 at 08:15 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, wander franco

Wednesday, June 02, 2021

Nashville, home for Tampa Bay Rays? Tampa official says club thinking about it

Tampa City Council member Charlie Miranda said Friday that Tampa Bay Rays president Brian Auld told him this week that relocating to Nashville might be in the cards.

The revelation comes amid discord between the team and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, who has cut off negotiations with team owner Stu Sternberg as a lawsuit involving minority investors continues.

Miranda said Rays President Brian Auld brought up Nashville as a possible destination for the team if the solution for a new Rays ballpark doesn’t materialize in Tampa.

“They mentioned Nashville. They said Nashville wants to do it,” Miranda said, recounting what he was told by Auld and Rays vice president for public affairs and corporate communications Rafaela Amador.

Miranda said Auld sung the praises of the Music City and its devotion to its professional sports franchises like the NHL’s Predators and the NFL’s Titans.

“In conversation they’re looking at different cities, they’d like to stay in Tampa,” Miranda said, adding that Auld characterized Nashville as “an appealing city to go to. They’re very into sports.”

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 02, 2021 at 09:21 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: nashville, rays

Tuesday, June 01, 2021

Tropicana Field site redevelopment narrowed to two proposals

At the end of January 2021, the city of St. Petersburg released seven of nine proposals received to redevelop the land under Tropicana Field, 86 acres of downtown property controlled by the city and largely used as a parking lot. You can read our summary on the RFP process and the ruled out proposals at this link. The submissions by the remaining bids are hyperlinked below, and can also be found at the city’s website.

The narrowing of the field comes at an interesting time, as the Mayor Rick Kriseman is reaching the final seven months of his term and may see this proposal as the way to leave his mark on the city. Kriseman has attempted to make this decision without the direct oversight of the St. Petersburg City Council (who control the budget) and without the input of the Tampa Bay Rays (who can block re-development until 2028).

Mayor Kriseman recently declared he will no longer negotiate with the Rays until Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg steps down from managing operations at the team. In response, the Chair of the City Council announced he a press conference this morning saying redevelopment should be put on hold until the Rays stadium has been resolved, a ###-for-tat with Mayor Kriseman narrowing the vision for downtown St. Petersburg to two proposals.

There are differences between the two remaining proposals. Both pack into the space as much as possible to create a busy downtown feel, but where one prioritizes greenspace, the other prioritizes water features. Both have the stadium option in the middle of the action, although only one has rendered what that would look like.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 01, 2021 at 11:36 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: new stadiums, rays

Monday, May 24, 2021

Tampa Bay Rays minority owners sue Sternberg, say he secretly negotiated Montreal deal

A group of minority owners of the Tampa Bay Rays have filed a lawsuit against Stuart Sternberg, the principal owner, alleging he has been engaged in a “relentless scheme” to take over control of the team and began secretly negotiating to sell an interest in the Rays to Montreal investors in 2014 — years before it was publicly disclosed.

The suit, which was filed Saturday in Pinellas County, accuses Sternberg of depriving the minority owners of their profits from the team while simultaneously requiring them to pay taxes on that would-be income.

That tactic squeezed out some partners, forcing them to sell their shares to Sternberg at a fraction of their value, the plaintiffs said. In January 2020, he transferred “the entire baseball club and franchise” to a new company under his sole management, without notifying the other partners, the lawsuit says.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 24, 2021 at 05:13 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: montreal, rays

Friday, May 21, 2021

Willie Adames traded to Brewers from Rays

The Brewers acquired shortstop Willy Adames in a trade with the Rays on Friday. Right-hander Trevor Richards will also head to Milwaukee, with Tampa Bay receiving right-handed relievers Drew Rasmussen and J.P. Feyereisen in return.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 21, 2021 at 04:37 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, rays, willie adames

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Rays Designate Yoshi Tsutsugo For Assignment

The Rays announced Tuesday that they’ve designated struggling first baseman/outfielder Yoshi Tsutsugo for assignment. He’s in the second season of a two-year, $12MM contract that represented a relatively sizable investment for the cost-conscious Rays. They’ll now have a week to trade him, pass him through waivers or release him. Corner infielder Kevin Padlo is up from Triple-A Durham in his place.

Tsutsugo, 29, was a prominent slugger with the Yokohama DeNa BayStars in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball, batting .285/.382/.528 in parts of 10 seasons — including a .293/.402/.574 slash with 139 home runs in the four years leading up to his free agency.

He struggled in 2020 with the Rays but at least showed off some of that power, slugging eight long balls, five doubles and a triple in 185 trips to the plate last summer. That power has completely evaporated in 2021, however, as Tsutsugo has just four doubles and no home runs through his first 87 plate appearances.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 11, 2021 at 04:51 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, yoshi tsutsugo

Sunday, April 25, 2021

A Jim Morris sequel? Not quite. But Louis Head is a good story, too

The Rays first were interested in signing him before 2020 spring training after pro scouting/personnel director Kevin Ibach was impressed by a Twitter video of Head throwing at a performance center in Houston.

“We were looking to add a few bodies, a few arms, to camp,” Ibach said Friday night. “And, lo and behold, we came across Louis Head.”

The Rays analytics team had some interesting data from Head’s time in the minors with the Indians and Dodgers, specifically the way he spun his slider.

They reached out, but were about a week late as Head had signed with the Mariners. That didn’t work out, with Head released by Seattle after the spring shutdown.

With no interest from any big-league teams (and needing to make more money than independent ball would offer) as play re-started, Head got a job. He went door to door in Arizona selling solar panels, while starting to think the door was closed on pitching again.”...

When Head got to camp, he showed a willingness to take suggestions and instruction from the Rays coaching staff, making some slight tweaks to his slider, that allowed him to make a good impression all the way around. His work in exhibition games, then at the alternate training site, led to Friday’s promotion on his 31st birthday.

“Kudos to him for staying with it, for not giving up and for coming to camp with an open mind,” Ibach said. “The solar panel business might give you some perspective.”

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 25, 2021 at 03:52 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

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

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Jonah Keri: The Myth of the Small-Market Window

We’re not selling blinds here.

There is a nugget of truth behind this Window obsession. Smaller-revenue teams have a tougher time signing premium free agents, or retaining their own top players past their initial six years of team control. That puts extra pressure on these poorer teams to bring up a bunch of great prospects all at once, then hope they get good at the same time before they get expensive.

But far more often it’s a bullshit excuse. It’s a vague, faraway goal that always seems several years out of reach. It’s a cover for cheap, greedy ownership, lousy scouting, drafting, and player development, and myopic trades. It’s a weak attempt to placate a fan base screwed over by years of management incompetence and indifference.

Or in the case of the Oakland A’s, their recent fire sale and justification for said fire sale, it’s a bold-faced ploy by one opportunistic owner to win territory from another opportunistic owner so that another city can hand out another $500 million check for another boondoggle stadium.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 04, 2012 at 03:28 PM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, rays

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