There wasn’t a whole lot of chatter on the Rays front at day two of the Winter Meetings in Orlando. Andrew Friedman DID tell Rays Radio that there is a bit more clarity on the first baseman front, while not giving any specifics.
Bill Chastain of MLB.com also talked with Friedman and Maddon yesterday. Friedman told Chastain,
Looking at it from a run-prevention standpoint, we feel like we're in a good position to keep runs off the board. If we're able to improve upon that the rest of the winter, all the better. And from a run-scoring standpoint, obviously, we need to figure out what we're going to do at first base. But having [David] DeJesus all year, having Wil Myers for a full season, I mean, there's things in there we feel will make us a better offensive team. But obviously, we want to get better on that front as well.
Maddon discussed the closer role with Chastain, stating,
Heath's very capable of pitching the ninth inning. Oviedo's done that in the past. Joel Peralta has done a nice job, Jake McGee is knocking on the door. So we have all kinds of potential guys to do that. But honestly, I'm not going to say, 'So-and-so' is the closer right now. We're into [who can pitch in] the high-leverage moment.
It was also announced yesterday that the Bowling Green Hot Rods, Class A Affiliates of Tampa Bay, were sold to the Manhattan Capital Sports Acquisition. The Hot Rods will still remain in the Midwest League and affiliated with the Rays.
Price rumors weren't rampant yesterday, but the favorite continues to be Seattle. While the Mariners are hoping to make a trade happen without Walker, with suggestions such as future star catcher Zunino surfacing, perhaps Jack Z is already caving:
dodgers & rangers gms suggest price deal unlikely. a lot of teams may want price, but mariners have real opportunity here.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 11, 2013
The pressure is on! Oh, and just for the laughs…
Moves Around the League
The Diamondbacks, White Sox and Angels agreed upon a three-way trade which sent Adam Eaton to Chicago, Mark Trumbo to Arizona, and Hector Santiago and Tyler Skaggs to Los Angeles/Anaheim -- Ian's analysis here.
Could Arizona have acquired Trumbo to try and use him in a package for David Price? Until the Rays find a first baseman, Kevin Towers flipping a trade asset isn't beyond speculation.
- FanGraphs is now providing spray charts for all players from 2012-2013 -- that's offensive and defensive.
Yes, fielding data is now publicly available. For example, here is a graph of plays made or missed by Loney over the last two seasons
All data is licensed from Inside Edge, and includes side-by-side comparison options.
You can compare players against themselves or other players in Made Plays by probability, Missed Plays by probability, or Made vs Missed (Like above), which overlays the two without percentages.
Revolutionary. Publicly available. Awesome.
- MLB.com is running a contest that you can enter until December 13 that would allow you to win a present from Raymond by tweeting "#SecretRay".
- The Rays have three pretty cool experiences available as part of an auction benefiting Stand Up 2 Cancer, one of which would allow you to take batting practice with the Rays during Spring Training. You can place your bids here.
- The Rays could go from Roberto to Nortberto next season:
#Rays considering signing LHP Jordan Norberto, who is rehabbing from TJ surgery, had Biogenesis suspension— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) December 11, 2013
Norberto likely ready to pitch by June-July. Guessing it would be a minor-league deal with #Rays— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) December 11, 2013
- Joe Maddon was named the 14th most handsome manager, according to Craig Calcaterra’s rankings on Hardball Talk.
- 'Tis the season for ugly sweaters.