Gregg Zaun Signs with Brewers; What's Next for the Rays?

Darn.

A sandwich pick, which the Rays received due to the Type-B designation, is worth about $0.8M. Last year, the Brewers received pick number 47 after the Rays signed Brian Shouse. Barring the Rays signing a Type-A free agent, the team will have five draft picks in the top 75 and have the potential to add one more through Shouse. We talk a lot about the importance of draft picks - and signing them - so goa head and take next draft day off, it'll be a fun one.

Gregg Zaun gave us some fun memories. The day the Rays acquired him was pretty special after what felt like an eternity of begging. The book isn't yet closed on the trade, but consider this: the team is essentially trading Rhyne Hughes for a top 50 draft pick. I don't know about you, but I consider that a win. Factor in what Zaun did for the Rays in his short time here, and Hughes has his hands full if he wants to make this an even deal.

As for the catching situation, this isn't fun. The two main internal options at this point are Jose Lobaton - a waiver claim from the Padres last July 30th - and John Jaso. Lobaton is easily the better defender of the pair - i.e. he doesn't field with the equivalent of an oven mitt while sitting on a stool - but is a lesser batter. Against righties, the switch-hitting Lobaton has a minor league OPS of roughly .780 while Jaso is at .847. If you assume those numbers translate 1:1 (they won't) then over 300 plate appearances Jaso is a superior hitter by eight runs. Is Jaso a worse defender  by eight runs? I don't know.

Looking at the free agents list didn't reveal anyone who could be a fit, although, as you should expect, the trade market could provide the answer. We'll see.

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