- Get a free agent pitcher to lead the young rotation. The skyrocketing salary structure shown on the free agent market for starting pitchers priced the DRays out of the market. The Mets might of been the one who inflated the going price when they handed Kris Benson that 3 year contract for a middle of the rotation starting pitcher. How did they DRays counter being faced with this situation. They did nothing at all. They waited until every possible free agent pitcher signed with another team, and hit the bargain bin and signed a trio of free agent pitchers to minor league contracts. They started with Jimmy Haynes, possibly the worst pitcher in all of the NL last year. Signed Nomo and Neagle on the same day.
- Make an upgrade at third base. With Huff making the move to a new position, they needed to fill the position with a batter who could supply some needed power and play some good defense. The DRays responded quite good to this need at first. Signing Brandon Larson who has been given a shot to be an everyday player several times in the Reds organization. He was young and probally is a little hungry to play. Then, the problem started. They signed AGone who has absolutely no experience at 3B to play the position. A guy who is an offensive liability, but could play some good defense.Lou is apparenty is one behind this move. Quite a surprising personnel decision considering Lou might go into a General Manager type position after he leaves the dugout. It has been always said he has a good eye for talent. This move seriously creates some doubts.
- Begin contracts talks with core young players At this point, neither Carl or Rocco have been approached about a long term contract. The time to do this is while they are young and not making the big amount of money. See Johan Santana of Twins. The longer they wait, the harder it will be to sign them to a multi year deal.
DRays offseason critical decisions
By David Bloom