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Jim Furtado
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Rays Newsbeat

Monday, September 18, 2023

Rays to announce St. Petersburg stadium deal this week

Here’s what we know:

After 16 years of speculation, dating back to the change from Devil Rays to Rays, the team is staying in St. Petersburg, FL.
The stadium plan remains what was reported earlier: a fixed roof stadium seating 30,000 and anchoring a larger overall development in the Historic Gas Plant District, which is where the current stadium is located today.

The new stadium would open for the 2028 season, but the overall development may not be complete until a decade later. You can view the Rays stadium redevelopment proposal here.

Last week, Topkin also reported the Rays would be willing to take on around $600 million to fund a new stadium, with rumors floating that Stu Sternberg was interested in selling a stake in the team for the influx of cash.

The announcement could come as soon as tomorrow, with WDAE’s Zac Blobner reporting that a change in ownership is potentially falling into place as well.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 18, 2023 at 10:23 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Monday, August 28, 2023

Carl Crawford appreciative of induction to Rays’ Hall of Fame

In receiving his Hall of Fame jacket and custom plate from principal owner Stuart Sternberg, Crawford said how appreciative he was to be inducted, and thanked people who helped him, from youth league coaches to Rays staff and teammates to the fans.

He got emotional hearing the praise from former teammates Rocco Baldelli, Edwin Jackson, Scott Kazmir, Evan Longoria and James Shields, and he was excited to see BJ Upton on the field at the Trop. He enjoyed throwing the first pitch to his son Justin, a promising Phillies prospect.

Sternberg had referred to Crawford as “the linchpin between the Devil Rays and the Rays and all the success we’ve had,” and called him “the third member, and the most deserving member” of the Hall, which launched his year with prior inductions of Don Zimmer and Wade Boggs.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 28, 2023 at 10:21 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: carl crawford, rays

Monday, August 14, 2023

The Secrets of the Rays’ Inexplicably Successful Pitching Development Machine

Snyder has been the Rays’ pitching coach since 2018. His staff has posted a top-three ERA in the league every season, a phenomenal achievement given the Rays’ meager payroll and an injury rate of nearly 50% for all major league pitchers. This year is no different.

The Rays began this week ranked behind only Houston in AL ERA (3.79 to 3.78). Rays pitchers allow the lowest batting average in MLB (.230), the lowest slugging percentage (.382) and the lowest OPS (.678). They have done so despite deploying the fourth-lowest payroll while using 36 pitchers—tied with the Dodgers for the most in baseball—and putting 14 of them on the injured list. Only the Dodgers (16) and Padres and Reds (15) have put more pitchers on the IL.

NaOH Posted: August 14, 2023 at 06:18 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Monday, July 31, 2023

Aaron Civale traded to Rays for Kyle Manzardo

The Rays made an aggressive move Monday afternoon to add another talented arm to their rotation, acquiring right-hander Aaron Civale from the Guardians for highly touted first-base prospect Kyle Manzardo. Manzardo, 23, is ranked by MLB Pipeline as the No. 37 prospect in the game.

jimfurtado Posted: July 31, 2023 at 05:34 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: guardians, rays, trades

Monday, July 10, 2023

‘It’s awesome’: Wade Boggs inducted into first Rays Hall of Fame class

Wade Boggs signed with the Devil Rays in 1998 for a specific reason.

He was within 200 hits of 3,000 and wanted the chance to reach the milestone playing for the new team in his adopted home town.

He did that in his second year — on Aug. 7, 1999, to be exact — then retired as a player and served briefly in several other roles (coaching, front office, broadcasting) before being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005.

Though his No. 12 was retired by the Rays in April 2000, Boggs said he never imagined the honor he received on Sunday, being inducted into the Rays Hall of Fame, which was launched this year as part of their 25th anniversary celebration.

“It’s awesome,” Boggs said after the pregame ceremony, sporting his new Rays Hall blazer. “Naturally, the National Baseball Hall of Fame is the pinnacle of greatness, where you put your flag in and everything along those lines.

“I would never ever think that in a million years I would have been in the Tampa Bay Rays Hall of Fame because of my body of work. I wasn’t here long enough. Like I said in my speech, I wore a lot of hats — I was assistant GM, I was a hitting coach and a player for two years. People don’t get inducted in the Hall of Fames when you play for a team for two years.

“I understand (after) ‘99 that they retired my No. 12, which was a tremendous honor,” Boggs continued. “But that’s what makes this mean that much more to me is because of the lack of body of work that I had here. I didn’t win batting titles. I didn’t win Gold Gloves. I didn’t make All-Star teams or anything along those lines.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 10, 2023 at 12:48 PM | 62 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, wade boggs

Monday, July 03, 2023

Tampa Bay Rays are incredible for a reason. ‘No secrets. No drama.’

They are the anthesis of the New York Mets and San Diego Padres, two teams who won the winter hype with a combined payroll of about $600 million, only to have records slightly better than the Colorado Rockies, and facing embarrassing sell-offs at the trade deadline.

“This team,” Rays outfielder Josh Lowe tells USA TODAY Sports, “is incredible for a reason. Everything you hear people saying about us is the truth. It starts with ownership all of the way down. They let us be ourselves. It’s our clubhouse. We care for one another, and we just have fun doing it.

“There’s just no pressure. They take all of the pressure off of you, and you realize it’s the same game you’ve been playing when you were a kid, making everyone feel so relaxed.”

It’s a team that certainly has a brilliant scouting department, develops their players as good as any franchise in the game, but they’ve also created such a comfortable environment that makes it almost impossible not to succeed.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 03, 2023 at 10:15 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Rays bench young shortstop Wander Franco over handling of his ‘frustrations’: ‘Good kid and good person’

Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Wander Franco has been benched through at least Friday’s game because of the way he handles frustration, manager Kevin Cash told reporters Thursday. They also want him to focus on being a better teammate. Cash stressed Franco is a “good kid and good person,” and they will work with him to get better.

“Wander is a really good kid and good person. He’s a young player that is learning and dealing with the challenges of being a major league player, and some of the frustrations that come with it over the course of this season,” Cash told reporters (per Bally Sports). “There’s been probably multiple times that the way he has handled his frustrations have not been the way that we ask our players to uphold being the best teammate. That being said, we’re going to continue to support Wander as he works through this.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 22, 2023 at 04:34 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, wander franco

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Rays have potential buyers, both local and for relocation, interested in franchise: Sources

At least one local businessman is trying to buy the franchise, according to sources briefed on the discussions who were granted anonymity so they could speak candidly. The team also is drawing interest from groups that would relocate the club to one of the cities that is a candidate for major-league expansion.

Building a $1.2 billion ballpark in St. Petersburg or Tampa remains the Rays’ primary focus, however. Owner Stuart Sternberg is in talks with potential investors and other sources of capital that would help fund the project, the sources said.

The potential local buyer is Dan Doyle Jr., chief executive officer of DEX Imaging, a Tampa-based company that professes to be “the nation’s largest independent provider of office technology with a local touch.” Prior to starting the company in 2002, Doyle Jr. was the founder and managing partner of a real estate development and holding company in St. Petersburg.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 21, 2023 at 06:05 PM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Tuesday, May 09, 2023

Orlando Magic’s co-founder hopes to lure Tampa Bay Rays with $1.7 billion stadium

Orlando Magic co-founder Pat Williams is expected to unveil plans for a new 45,000-seat, domed baseball stadium Tuesday afternoon. It’s part of a plan, now four years in the making, to lure a Major League Baseball franchise to Central Florida.

Williams’ scouting group, the Orlando City Baseball Dreamers, shared one rendering of the proposed stadium with the Orlando Sentinel over the weekend ahead of today’s press conference.

The pitch to the Rays, or any other MLB team interested in relocating to the Sunshine State, is to build a brand-new stadium complex on a 35-acre plot in the heart of Orlando’s tourist district. The new stadium would be located on I-Drive, just across from SeaWorld. The development would also include retail shops, restaurants, office space, and 1,000 hotel rooms.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 09, 2023 at 11:19 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: orlando, rays

Friday, April 07, 2023

Rays beat A’s, extend season-opening win streak to seven

Isaac Paredes hit a grand slam during Tampa Bay’s six-run second inning, and the Rays beat the Oakland Athletics 9-5 on Friday night to extend their season-opening win streak to seven games.

The Rays have now won each of their first seven games by four or more runs, the longest such streak in American and National League history, according to ESPN’s Stats & Information. The Rays are also the fifth team since 2000 to start a season 7-0.

Harold Ramírez, Manuel Margot, Christian Bethancourt and Wander Franco also homered for Tampa Bay. The Rays’ 18 homers are the most through seven games in team history.

“Can we keep it up?” Rays manager Kevin Cash said with a laugh. “I think we’ve got to be very pleased with everybody in the lineup is contributing.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 07, 2023 at 11:39 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Jeffrey Springs didn’t believe he could change. The Rays showed him the way

By this past offseason, he had already gained Springs’ trust. When Springs first arrived in Tampa, his confidence was shaken. He’d posted a 7.08 ERA with Boston in 2020. He believed the numbers showed he’d struggled.

The Rays and Snyder gave him a different message: He’d been unlucky.

He was the seventh-most unlucky pitcher in 2020 if subtracting actual ERA from xFIP, the calculation that only measures outcomes the pitcher controls: strikeouts, walks, and home runs. Many outcomes on balls in play have a defensive component the pitcher doesn’t control: errors, great plays, and alignments. Springs’ xFIP was only 3.70, almost half his ERA. Additionally, Springs’ strike rate (called plus swinging) was 33%, well above average (28%).

Spring arrived believing his breaking ball was poor, and batters had performed well against his skinny-breaking slider. The Rays had other ideas.

“When I came over in 2021, it was, ‘Throw your slider more,’” Springs said. He recalled Snyder saying: “‘It’s better than you think.’

“Snyder helped turn my career around.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 07, 2023 at 11:17 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: jeffrey springs, rays

Sunday, April 02, 2023

Don Zimmer becomes first member of Rays’ Hall of Fame

Don Zimmer, a popular fixture in professional baseball for 66 years as a manager, player, coach and executive, has become the first person in the Tampa Bay Rays’ Hall of Fame.

Zimmer was honored in a ceremony before Sunday’s game against the Detroit Tigers. He spent his last 11 years in the game, his longest stint with one team, as a Rays senior adviser from 2004 until his death in June 2014 at age 83.

Zimmer’s wife “Soot,” whom he married at home plate during a minor league game in 1951, and his son Tom, a retired San Francisco Giants scout, were among family members in attendance.

“It was a great honor ... the Rays have been super,” Soot Zimmer said. “I marvel when I think of the 66 years he was in the game, and he would come down every game and put the uniform on even when he a senior adviser. I can’t imagine putting that uniform on every day for all those years. To me, that was something.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 02, 2023 at 10:28 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: don zimmer, 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

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Cubs Sign Andy Sonnanstine

In yet another “buy low” move, the Cubs have signed former Rays righthander Andy Sonnanstine to a non-guaranteed split contract—i.e. he’ll make more if he makes the major league team.

Sonnanstine looked promising in his first two seasons with the Rays, particularly in 2008 when he posted a 101 ERA+ and had an excellent walk ratio of 1.7 per nine innings and had two good starts for the Rays in the 2008 postseason. But he has regressed the last three years, was banished to the Rays’ bullpen and spent much of 2011 at Triple-A Durham.

Sonnanstine will be 29 in March. He’s a reclamation project, but at that age he’s got a much better chance to be productive than the retreads (Doug Davis, Ramon Ortiz, Rodrigo Lopez) that Jim Hendry signed last year.

Thanks to Pete.

Repoz Posted: December 27, 2011 at 02:07 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, rays

Monday, December 26, 2011

Jayson Stark (ESPN): Strange stuff … in the 2011 postseason

The postseason edition of trivia and oddbits that Jayson Stark excels at collecting and presenting…

Here’s one I didn’t know:

All four teams that advanced to the LCS—the Cardinals, Brewers, Rangers and Tigers—got outscored by the teams they played in the Division Series … and won.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Report: Jorge Posada could play for Rays

Yup, seeing that Posada hit about a buck eighty away from Yankee Stadium the last two seasons…

If Jorge Posada has any baseball juice left, he could try to squeeze it out in Tampa Bay.

ESPN Deportes is reporting the Rays are interested in perhaps inking the veteran Puerto Rican to be a part-time first baseman, designated hitter and play a little at his “old” position at catcher.

ESPN Deportes also indicated the Phillies and Orioles are interested parties for 40-year-old veteran’s services, though it is not yet known if the ex-Yankees star is ready to call it quits.

A role for Posada, who has 275 career homers and 1.065 RBIs, in Tampa Bay could make the most sense, except that veteran starting catcher Jose Molina is a well-seasoned 36-year-old.

Repoz Posted: December 25, 2011 at 11:50 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, yankees

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Baseball America’s Top 10 Prospects: Tampa Bay Rays

Has Jace Brewer drawn a walk yet? Just checking.

1. Matt Moore, lhp
2. Hak-Ju Lee, ss
3. Chris Archer, rhp
4. Taylor Guerrieri, rhp
5. Alex Colome, rhp
6. Alex Torres, lhp
7. Tim Beckham, ss
8. Enny Romero, lhp
9. Drew Vettleson, of
10. Mikie Mahtook, of

While Tampa Bay continued to win in the majors, it also restocked its system. The Rays received five youngsters from the Cubs for Garza, including three quality prospects in shortstop Hak-Ju Lee, righthander Chris Archer and outfielder Brandon Guyer.

The exodus of seven free agents gave Tampa Bay 10 compensation draft choices and an unprecedented 12 picks in the first two rounds. The Rays’ first two picks weren’t supposed to get to them, high school righthander Taylor Guerrieri at No. 24 and Louisiana State outfielder Mikie Mahtook at No. 31, and they continued to blend college players and prep talent afterward.

Repoz Posted: December 21, 2011 at 09:39 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, prospect reports, rays, scouting

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Boston Red Sox - Red Sox have more competition than ever - The Boston Globe

This week’s Boston Globe Sunday baseball column.

jimfurtado Posted: December 18, 2011 at 02:32 PM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, braves, mets, miami, nationals, orioles, phillies, rangers, rays, red sox, yankees

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Rays: Sonnanstine non-tenderered, Howell gets contract

Huh? I’m still waiting on Dan Pleasesac’s promised Cy Youngy-breakout season from Sonnanstine.

On Howell: Friedman noted how much a grind the season seemed to be on Howell physically and mentally coming off major shoulder surgery and seemed confident 2012 will be better. “We’re big believers in who J.P. is and what he’s done to put himself in a position to have a good 2012 season. J.P. is one of those guys you bet on. And we’re optimistic he’ll be part of a hopefully well-above average bullpen.’’ He said they hope Howell - a free spirit as it is - “takes this winter to relax and clear his mind and come into spring free and clear and get back to strutting off the mound.’‘

Howell made $1.1-million last season, and isn’t going to be in line for much of a raise, so the Rays could end up with a bargain. On the other hand, Howell got paid $1.8-million for the 2010 season he missed after the surgery.

On Sonnanstine: Friedman made a point of acknowleding how large a role Sonnanstine played in their success over the last four seasons, saying “we’ve all been through so much together.’‘’ But with the rotation deep and the bullpen taking shape, Friedman said there was no longer “an optimal fit” for Sonnanstine.  “Looking back we thank him for everything he did, looking forward we felt like there would be better opportunities for him elsewhere.’‘

Sonnanstine made $912,500 last season and also would have likely gotten a small raise, so the Rays can rellocate that money elsewhere.

Repoz Posted: December 13, 2011 at 10:47 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: business, rays

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher David Price doesn’t fight man urinating on car - MLB News | FOX Sports on MSN


“I was relieved with how it turned out,” Price said jokingly.

jimfurtado Posted: December 11, 2011 at 03:37 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Friday, December 09, 2011

ESPN: Crasnick: Rays sign Moore for 5/14

Electric Boogalongoria.

The Tampa Bay Rays have reached agreement with rookie pitcher Matt Moore on a guaranteed five-year, $14 million contract, according to a baseball source.

The deal includes multiple club options and could extend to eight years for a guaranteed $37.5 million and buy out two years of Moore’s free agency, the source said. It includes escalator clauses based on innings pitched and games started that could raise the overall value to $40 million.

Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 09, 2011 at 04:38 PM | 64 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

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