The Rays Tank: The Winter Meetings Begin

Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

The Winter Meetings are upon us!

The executives and managers of every team in baseball have gathered in the same place for a flurry of trade speculations and free agent signings we call the Winter Meetings. Major free agents and their representatives are sure to make an appearance as well.

Tampa Bay did not hesitate to get things started in Nashville, as they are reportedly close to signing defensive first baseman James Loney to a one-year deal. The Rays are also rumored to be in on a trade for Michael Morse, who could play first base or left field next season. Morse has no splits to speak of, and could platoon with Loney at first against southpaws.

Monday through Wednesday, DRaysBay will have our own Jason Collette on the ground. He will be attending the Andrew Friedman post-day wrap up chats on Monday and Tuesday afternoons, and provide his insight on the latest buzz along the way.

Additionally, there is a simulated Winter Meeting being held among the SB Nation blogs this week.

Each site will offer and organize trades with other SB Nation blogs, and each team will be able to bid on free agents throughout the week. This simulation will end with the Winter Meetings of Friday, but should provide us with some fascinating perspective into the mindset of other writers who know their organizations as intimately as the Masthead knows Tampa Bay's.

Sneak Peek: Royals Review has labeled Wil Myers essentially untouchable, and many sites have already inquired on James Shields.

General Manager Steve Slowinski will helm trade discussions for our site.

In other Rays news, Andrew Friedman referred to Desmond Jennings as, "an above-average center fielder," and a "well above-average left fielder" in his latest conversations with Marc Topkin. In the same article, Friedman speaks highly of Brandon Guyer's potential to rebound from surgery in the coming season. The Rays have also had "some good discussions" with former closer Kyle Farnsworth, per Topkin's twitter.

WINTER MEETING LINKS

- The Daily Dish covers the buyers and sellers at this year's Winter Meetings.

- Fangraphs notes six prospects to target in the coming week.

- Sports Illustrated provides their top 10 things to watch for in Nashville, which is a good primer for the craziness waiting to happen.

- Roger Mooney considers the current state of the Rays pitching staff.

OTHER LINKS

- Beyond the Box Score: Jon Roegele on the three indicators of power, and James Gentile on the evolution of the lead-off hitter.

- Royals Review examines the cost of a Top-10 prospect like Wil Myers.

- Derek Jeter was caught in South Beach looking quite overweight, and thankfully Fat Derek Jeter is now a meme.

- Lastly, the DRaysBay mailbag will continue throughout the off-season. Feel free to e-mail your Rays-related questions to draysbaymailbag@gmail.com.

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