Ok, it's been an action packed four days of winter meetings. It's time to gather up everything in one nice recap and see where we stand.
- The Rays were quiet until late afternoon Eastern Time when it was announced that Milton Bradley ate Pizza and French Onion soup with the Rays.
- The Rays also signed minor leaguer Paul Phillips, the pitcher.
- We learned that Griffey wanted to be the next Raymond.
- Delmon Young coming back was the hot topic, but that was shot down quickly.
- The Rays and Cardinals had discussions. The suggested names were Rick Ankiel and Ryan Ludwick
- Jason Giambi and The Rays chewed the fat at N9ne steakhouse.
- The Rays liked Nelson Cruz, but so do the Texas Rangers.
- The Marlins offered Jeremy Hermida for two pitching prospects and got the no thx.
- The Rays have interest in Griffey. Position, DH or Mascot, unknown.
- Bobby Abreu's agent met with the Rays and it appears the Rays and the White Sox are the front runners for his services.
- In the biggest Rays news from the meetings, the Rays traded Edwin Jackson, who was proclaimed in 2003 as the best Dodger pitching prospect since Pedro Martinez, to the Detroit Tigers. It's only fitting that his last regular appereance came in Detroit and saw him blow a two-run lead only to get lucky enough to later win the game and tie the franchise record for wins in a season.
- The return for Jackson is Matt Joyce, a Tampa native with good power and is an above average corner outfielder. The Rays get six years of team control for what Dave Cameron calls "essentially, a left-handed Werth - a guy who can play very good defense in a corner OF spot, has gap power and will walk occasionally, but whose lower contact rate will always keep his average down. "
- Oh and he rescues kittens. P Brady would be proud.
- The Rule 5 Draft took place and as expected Eduardo Morlan was selected. Morlan is now property of the Brewers, but could still land back with the Rays at some point.
- The Rays selected RHP, Derek Rodriguez, who oddly enough could be the loogy the Rays need. Here is what Andrew Friedman had to say about him.
"We feel like he’s got an advanced feel for pitching," Friedman said. "He changes arm angles, he changes speeds, he misses bats. We’ve got numerous reports that he makes hitters uncomfortable in the box with the different things that he does and we’re anxious to get him into big-league camp and get a look at him firsthand."
Friedman said Rodriguez will definitely be given a chance to make the team.
"I don’t think we would have taken him if we weren’t intrigued enough to give him a real opportunity," Friedman said. "What will happen remains to be seen, and some of that will be dictated by what we do between now and then. But as we stand here today we’re excited to add him and feel like he’s got a very legitimate chance to come in and earn a job."
- In news that just makes you smile, Marc Topkin shares this.
Probably the most interesting thing Friedman said is that he thinks the Rays can be "competitive" in bidding for the free-agent hitters. The Rays have not made a formal offer for any of them, thus far just talking parameters.
All in all it was a crazy rumor filled week. The Yanks got Sabathia and made offers to every possible free agent pitcher. The Mets got K-Rod and then traded for a better closer the next day, but will use him as a set up man. The Red Sox really didn't do anything and the Rays got stronger in two areas with one move.
The Rays still have a few holes, including DH, a possible right handed bat in the outfield, and maybe a bullpen arm or two, but do you know the best part of this whole week? The Rays are players, serious players. We all felt great after the successful on the field season, but hearing the words: Rays, competitive and free agents in the same sentences just makes it even better.
Overall Winter Meeting Reaction: