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Jake's Take: Cooking Ramen Noodles on the Hot Stove

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Has someone checked the pilot light for the Rays Hot Stove this offseason?

To some Rays fans, this offseason has been very anti-climactic. Gone are the days of the Blunder-Twins, but we've yet to make any significant moves in what was thought to be a very busy offseason for the Rays. The Optimism Thermometer of the Rays has taken some damage with mis/non-dealings, bust-for-bust Trades, reports of "The Same Ol' Rays" and the 1 bid for an Out-of-country player. Let's not forget about the report of CC's anger over Rocco's deal, that's always great to read. Our "trading chips" have found their way to get their names thrown in trade rumors, but we've got nothing to show for it.

Does the NDRO have a "Master Plan" that fans don't know about? Maybe a bit of "Shock and Awe" going on? Fans being in "shock" or "awe" that we may actually get another deal done within the remaining 3 months left in the offseason. Maybe the NDRO took a look at what our fellow fishes of Florida did and are "iffy" about trading good players for minor leaguers.

Who knows, we sure don't. Mum is the word right now for the NDRO to it's columnists(of both newspapers and even Bill Chastain). The less they know, the better. If a deal is close, feed them a little info to get them interested. So in case the deal is killed, there's no real panic.

For a Rays fan, as us many know, it's hard to be patient with the Front Office. I personally think that we should, seeing that with all our great prospects being "close" to being ready...it leaves the franchise with less hole-filling left to do. It's just hard to shake off the stigma that LaMar and Naimoli left on the franchise. Fans want them to make major moves, to show that the Franchise will throw money into the team...yet we gotta think what could happen if we make a head-first deal without thinking about the consequences. Do we risk it? Do we want to risk it?

My only complaint with the NDRO is the "Wait-and-see" tactic that we're using with our trading chips. It's a high-risk, high-reward move to wait until the top FAs get picked up and then go to the teams with holes in certain positions that we can demand top prospects for.

We're currently using that with Joey Gathright. Right now, according to rumors, we're shopping Joey to the Dodgers and Marlins. However, we've stalled any trade talks until Johnny Damon makes his decision on where he lands. This tactic may back-fire on us if Johnny decides to go to the Dodgers, seeing that the Red Sox already have a deal in place with the Mariners if Damon chooses to sign elsewhere. If that happens, our leverage with the Marlins is lost and we'd have to spice up the deal by adding Lugo or Baez.

My thought is, if we were offered Scott Olsen for Gathright straight up...there's no reason at all why we shouldn't accept now. Don't wait, just accept before the deal is off the table.

Please, Andy and Gerry, please do something to prove that my unmerited support for you isn't going to waste. I'm starting to waiver a bit and I've probably been your strongest supporter this offseason. I know that we shouldn't feel pressured to make moves for the sake of making moves...but sometimes you get "once in a lifetime" deals that you gotta take the risk on.
"You're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't..." is a quote that comes to mind.