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Lamar blows it

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Lugo staying I'm happy about. He's the one of the three trading chips that might have a future with the Rays for two to three years (if he is willing to move to 2B), based on position, cost, production, and projection.

Huff is staying too and I refuse to blame Lamar for that. If it comes out from a reliable source that he was offered something like Anibal Sanchez and Kelly Shoppach and turned it down then he will deserve all the blame in the world but we don't know that. I'd say there is a fair chance that he wasn't given a concrete offer of enough in return to justify moving Huff right now.

David already quoted in the entry below what Joe Sheehan said about the lack of action on the Rays part and to an extent I agree with him. Not necessarily about Huff though, he's the kind of player that teams will really want to pick up in the offseason and it will help if he continues to finish so strongly. Waiting till next year's deadline is a mistake but not moving Huff until the offseason is ok unless we know for sure that Lamar turned down a great deal.

When it comes to Danys Baez though, that's where it's a big problem and Lamar's failure to get anything done is likely to negatively impact the Rays. I can't believe that there was not a single team out there willing to give back fair value and more for Baez. A solid reliever currently with an ERA just above 3 and closing experience with a reasonably priced option for next season? Bull, somebody must have offered a deal worth doing.

Right before the deadline Baez's value was probably as high as it will ever be. He's not particularly reliable as far as closers go, his walk rate has gone up the past two years and so has his WHIP. The WHIP is the real concern, he just allows too many baserunners. So far he has maintained a lower ERA than he should have, he has had some luck but recently that has turned. He gave up a run in two of the Baltimore games and completely blew last Tuesday's Red Sox game. Good but not great relievers don't have that much of a trade market in the offseason, do you really want to take the risk of letting Baez pitch another year in the hope that he'll hold things together enough to not lose the Proven, Reliable Closer<sup>TM</sup> sheen? Whether he will close for his new team or not isn't that important, it's that closing experience and appearance of reliability under pressure that attracts teams looking for help in the stretch run.

Although I disagree with Sheehan's opinion that Lamar had to move all three players I do think his overall assessment is correct. Lamar just doesn't understand the real value of his players and has no intelligent way of projecting their future performance. My view of him is that while he feels that he should be willing to listen if a great offer is made he doesn't actually WANT to move his trading chips. That's a problem, a GM in his situation needs to want to move those players for prospects; that doesn't mean he has to accept whatever is offered, he should still be willing to hold onto them if a good deal isn't available. I don't sense that desire in Lamar, in his eyes Huff and Baez are more valuable to the Rays as a franchise than any but the best return in prospects.

I won't believe that he didn't have a good enough offer for Baez available but as I said above I'm willing to give him some leeway on Huff. I'm still skeptical of that though, Even if he didn't turn down any good deals for Huff (and we have no way of knowing that) I bet there are deals that most of us would have found acceptable that he would have turned down if it was offered to him. I have no problem with him shooting him in negotiations but you have to know when to lower your price and make a lesser deal that's still a smart one for you to make. Lamar doesn't strike me as knowing how to do that and it almost certainly hurt the Rays with Baez and may have with Huff. It's not just now this year's deadline that's the problem, why will it be any different in the offseason or next year in July?