Day one in the SB Nation offseason simulation is in the books (really, we're pretty far into day two). You can keep abreast of everything happening around the league in this thread. Some crazy things have gone down (Yasiel Puig for Chris Sale, straight up). Here's a run-down of how it's gone so far.
I picked up the options for every player (Ben Zobrist, Yunel Escobar, David DeJesus, and Juan Carlos Oviedo). Shortly afterward, the real Rays declined to pick up Oviedo's option. Oops. This is one of the reasons why it's better to be a real team with real medical and talent evaluators.
I've non-tendered Jeff Niemann.
Josh Willingham ($7 million salary)
This deal was brokered by Michael, actually.
Rays get: Josh Willingham and $5 million.
David DeJesus/Neftali Soto
Signing Willingham to DH full-time crowds the Rays outfield (pushing Matt Joyce out of the DH spot). Both DeJesus and Joyce are fine players, but both are left-handed platoon outfielders, and there's only one spot. Matt Joyce is a bit better, and a bit less expensive, but either was expendable.
I was in talks with Pittsburgh for DDJ, but I scared them off with bad, overaggressive negotiating (I asked for Tyler Glasnow, even though maniac and Scott advised me not to). The Reds were a bit more talkative, and after dancing through a few prospects, we arrived on DeJesus for Neftali Soto.
Now, Soto is not a top prospect, but he's a prospect of sorts, a first baseman, and he's major league ready. I don't feel good penciling him in as our starter, but it's a plan of sorts, at least until we can make another. The $6.5 million saved will be valuable.
I've had talks with the Phillies, the Dodgers, the Nationals, the Rangers, the Cardinals, and the Giants. Of those offers, the Giants and the Dodgers were probably the best fit. the Rangers and the Cardinals were just kicking the tires, not really willing to give up their top prospects, and not expecting me to accept less.
That being said, I think it's fair to say that Price will be staying here another year, at least in my make-believe world. Right now, the Rays budget is at $63 million, and I still need a second (or first) catcher, as well as a few bullpen pieces. Smaller trades concerning the rotation are still possible.
I won't give amounts yet, but I've made James Loney an offer, along with a bunch of bullpen pieces (some to major league deals, some to minor league ones). Here they are, in no particular order: Oliver Perez, Miguel Gonzalez, Jesse Crain, Octavio Dotel, Carlos Marmol.
Strangely, it's nerve-wracking to make pretend decisions with fake money.