"There's no question this is a dual market situation," says one GM. "The corner bat/DH market is flooded, and the stock market is drowning. Not a good combination, not when pitching rules the market."
"The other thing is that teams are moving away from the base offensive statistics," says another GM. "They are pouring through defensive studies and seeing that below-average defenders like Ramirez and Burrell in the field depreciate their offensive numbers because of what they give up."
That is an excerpt from this piece written by Peter Gammons on the corner outfield/DH market which figures to be tops on the Rays priority list.
Gammons specifically mentions the Rays in this portion of the entry
Which is why the Tampa Bay Rays are in such a great position. They need a right field or DH bat. They have a terrific lineup in which to stack numbers. And a long list of names to consider, like Dunn, Jason Giambi, Burrell, Abreu, Raul Ibanez and Garrett Atkins from which to choose.
What once looked like a pipe dream, is now becoming a bright reality for the Rays. After the major pieces like CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira fall and set the market, the Rays will probably have three or four solid options for right field and/or DH. This comes without trading Edwin Jackson, Andy Sonnanstine, Jeff Niemann or even Jason Bartlett.
This should give Friedman the flexibilty to pick and choose in a trade while supplementing whatever position he doesn't fill via a trade with a weakened market. Even if names like Dunn, Burrell, Ibanez, Bradley and Abreu get multi-year deals elsewhere it leaves guys like Giambi, Juan Rivera, Ken Griffey, Eric Hinske, Cliff Floyd and Rocco Baldelli with no place to go. Now some of those names(including the former Rays trio) aren't ideal, but for the potential price they maybe worth a shot.
And that doesn't even bring in the trade market which could include guys like Rick Ankiel, Ryan Ludwick and Jeremy Hermida among others.
In the beginning of this offseason most of us thought talking about these guys was just wishful thinking. Now, we may infact just get what we wished for.