Some thoughts on the first series of 2014

The Rays have played their first series, I have some concerns about the team.

2014 predictions

How will the AL East look at the end of 2014? Here are my predictions.

Don't trade David Price

It's been widely accepted that the Rays will trade David Price. I don't think they should. Here's why.

Rays acquire Ryan Hanigan and Heath Bell

Rays acquire two big names in a three team trade involving the Reds and D-Backs, but what did they give up in return?

2014 Rays Schedule released

We disect the 2014 Rays schedule.

Nov 26, 2012

Longoria staying in Tampa Bay through 2022

by Aaron Giddens
Evan Longoria
Evan Longoria
Courtesy: Keith Allison/Flickr
Today the Rays announced that they have signed Evan Longoria to a 6-year extension worth $100 million, with a club option for a 7th year in 2023.

Longoria, 27, batted .289 with 17 home runs and 55 RBIs in only 74 games because of a partially torn hamstring. He is a three-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove winner.

Of the deal Rays principal owner Stuart Sternburg said in a statement, "We drafted Evan in 2006 with the belief that he and the organization would grow with each other and together accomplish great things, that is why the Rays and Evan signed a long-term contract in 2008, and it is why we are extending our commitments today. Evan has clearly become a cornerstone player and a fixture in our organization. We are proud of what we have accomplished these past seven years, and I expect the best is yet to come."

Nov 21, 2012

Mitch Williams prediction in context

by Aaron Giddens
Most of us last night saw the following tweet from Rays radio announcer Dave Wills.



But with context the meaning of his prediction changes a little bit. So let me real quick provide said context and Mitch's justification for his AL East prediction (which goes Jays first, Yankees second, O's third, Sox fourth and Rays last.)

The search for Offense in 2013

by Aaron Giddens
Longo swings for the fences
Longo swings for the the fences.
Courtesy: TampaBay.com
The Winter Meetings are coming up and the Rays are in need of major moves to improve the offense to be able to compete in the AL East in 2013 with the Yankees who are sure to reload, the O's who are sure to be competitive again and the newly stocked Jays.

The Rays can't afford to go excruciatingly cheap on offense again this year. If they do, the Rays will again be watching October from home. Pitching is nice, but you need offense to make it worth anything. So here are a few options I like for the Rays.

Nov 16, 2012

And the winner is....

by Aaron Giddens

As you learned on Twitter a few minutes ago, you voted and we have named our 2012 Moment of the Year. The winner is....

Carlos Pena's Opening Day Grand Slam and Walk-off hit


65 votes in all were cast, here's the voting breakdown:

Poll results
(click to enlarge)

The winner will be displayed on the right side widget bar of the site until Opening Day starting Sunday.

Did the fans get it right? Let us know in the comment section below.

Nov 14, 2012

David Price wins AL Cy Young Award

by Aaron Giddens
David Price
David Price
Courtesy: Keith Allison/Flickr
He did it! David Price is the 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner. He beat out Justin Verlander and Jared Weaver for the honor. With that, Price is the first Cy Young winner in Rays franchise history.

Fernando Rodney finished 5th in the voting with only 1 first place vote.

Congrats to Price! On to 2013!

Nov 13, 2012

Marlins with a firesale, Blue Jays possibly benefit

by Aaron Giddens
In what could be a trade for the ages, the Blue Jays just got a lot of talent due to a fire sale in Miami.

The word going around is that the Marlins and the Blue Jays just agreed to a huge trade. Here's the details according to MLB Network:

Blue Jays acquire Marlins acquire
Josh Johnson, SP Yunel Escobar, SS
Jose Reyes, SS Adeiny Hechavarria, IF
Mark Buehrle, SP Henderson Alvarez, SP
John Buck, C Justin Nicolino, SP
Emilio Bonifacio, UT

This would be a huge trade if complete, probably the biggest of the offseason, easily outdoing the possible Justin Upton trade.

What does this mean for the Rays in the long run? Nothing good, that's for certain.

The 2013 AL East just got tougher. Yikes.

Nov 9, 2012

LINK LOTTERY: BJ declines qualifying offer

by Aaron Giddens
As expected today, BJ Upton declined the Rays 1-year $13.3 million offer and elected for free agency. This frees the Rays to go after a trade for Justin Upton, as we discussed yesterday.

Other things of note:

  • Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com says that the Rays biggest trade chips are Price and Shields and most feel that Price has no chance of being moved this year and Shields being moved is unlikely. [FOX Sports]
  • A.J. Pierzynski says that he wants to return to the White Sox in 2013 or if he can't he would like to play in his home state of Florida for the Rays. [CSN Chicago]
  • Andrew Friedman chats with MLB Trade Rumors. [MLB Trade Rumors]
  • Shadow of the Stadium takes a look at what this past Tuesday meant to the Rays. [Shadow of the Stadium]
  • Rays Index takes a look at whether Hellboy is as good as his stats suggests. [Rays Index]
  • Rays Index also suggests that the recently released Jason Bay could be a good fit in Tampa Bay. [Rays Index]

Nov 8, 2012

Rays could make a run at Justin Upton [UPDATED]

by Aaron Giddens
Justin Upton
Justin Upton
Courtesy: Flickr
[UPDATE, 11/9/12, 4:19pm ET]: BJ Upton has officially declined the Rays qualifying offer freeing the Rays to officially try to acquire Justin.

[Original story]: So today we learned that the Rays are interested in BJ's brother Justin. He's exactly what the Rays need: a good bad that is young. There are problems, but they're easy to overcome.

First the Rays would need BJ Upton to reject the qualifying offer the Rays made to receive a draft pick. Which is almost a certainty. Next the Rays would need either the D-Backs or a third team in a possible 3-team trade to eat some of Justin's contract. (He's contracted to make $9.75 million in 2013, $14.25 million in 2014, $14.5 million in 2015.) Then it's just a case of which players do the Rays ship off to Phoenix.

The Rays could make one of the first big splashes this off season if they get Justin, but while they are a favorite to land the 25 year old, they aren't the only team looking at Justin.

Other teams mentioned are the Rangers, Tigers and Yankees.

So it will take some work by Andrew Friedman to land Justin. But it's not impossible. It's not even a "dream big" long shot either.

Could Justin find a home in Tampa Bay? We'll just have to wait and find out.

Nov 5, 2012

Joel Peralta stays in Tampa Bay

by Aaron Giddens
One of the biggest pieces of the Rays puzzle that was being lost to free agency this offseason was Joel Peralta. I say was because Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Joel is staying put in Tampa Bay.

The deal is reported worth a total of $8.5 million. That is 2 years worth $6 million and a $2.5 million dollar option for 2015, reports Topkin. The deal is pending a physical.

Was this a good move by the Rays? I think so, but let me know what you think using the comment section below.