The Rays Tank: Friedman hints at off-season strategy

J. Meric

Forgive the picture with Josh Hamilton, there's not a lot of interesting pictures of Andrew Friedman to choose from.

The GM Meetings ended last week, and Andrew Friedman shared a few thoughts with Marc Topkin on his return:

"We had a very productive week of dialogue on a number of different fronts," he said. "I'm sure our approach this offseason will be some combination of trades and free agent signings. We are working through what that ratio will be and which moves make the most sense to attempt to do on the front end of the winter as opposed to late."

If we are to take him at his word, Friedman's approach will be free agent signings and trades, surely suggesting the departure of at least one starting pitcher, granted our depth. Furthermore, mentioning a "ratio" of trades to free agent signings indicates there could be multiple trades on the table, which begs the question of who. Topkin stopped short of quoting Friedman further, but one could speculate Hak-Ju Lee (Justin Upton rumors) and potential starter WD40 (er, Wade Davis) are candidates for the trade block.

Topkin did touch on what Tampa Bay's tactics might be in his article:

The strategic question for Friedman and staff is whether they can get more by being pre-emptive and strike a deal with a team not wanting to be forced to overpay or get shut out, or in waiting for the teams that do miss out on the top free agents in what looks like will be a lucrative sellers' market.

By and large, the asking price on arms like Zack Greinke and Anibal Sanchez have sky-rocketed, so the Rays should have plenty of leverage to find impact bats. Beating the market to the punch on free agent starters may be the key to success this offseason.

LINKS

- The final awards are upon us, with AL and NL Rookie of the Year set to be announced this afternoon. Tuesday announcements are for Managers of the year, with the Cy Young awards on Wednesday - which David Price is a finalist for - and MVP's on Thursday. Billy Beane won the award for Executive of the Year last week, and Grant Brisbee reminds us why no one argued.

- In case you haven't heard, the Salary Cap Dodgers were, in-fact, the team behind the $25,737,737.33 bid for South Korean southpaw Hyun-Jin Ryu. The strange bid was designed out of respect for Korean culture, which regards the numbers three and seven as lucky. (And here I thought they were just bragging.)

- Recommended by Bryan Grosnick: "If you like baseball history, sites loaded with comprehensive baseball statistics, and / or alternate halls of fame, then you'll probably want to check out Adam Darowski's new Hall of Stats site."

- Mind the Gap: Glen DuPaul examined the disparity between FIP and ERA for Beyond the Box Score - starting with Jeremy Hellickson, and working his way through the trend historically.

- Baseball Prospectus: "17 Teams That Would Have Won the World Series if Not for Jason Bay," by Sam Miller (Spoiler Alert: This includes the Rays). The article is quite humorous.

- Baseball Prospectus: An in-depth look at mental health, the effects of anxiety and substance abuse, and the risks of signing Zack Greinke and Josh Hamilton, by Russell A. Carleton.

- Finally, do you have a Rays-related question to ask the DRaysBay writing staff? The DRaysBay mailbag still exists! Send an e-mail with your questions to draysbaymailbag@gmail.com.

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