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Jake's Take: Call me crazy....

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With the signing of Iwamura, the Rays acquired a player on the open market and won't cost an arm and a leg to keep him during his "peak" seasons. Around this time of year, the Rays can make their most logical acquisitions. The non-tenders for this year are interesting, to say the least, and one or 2 of them could be had and fill much-needed roles for us. We're still awaiting answers to offers from 2 Free Agents in Mulder and Riske, with Mulder being the bigger long-shot of the 2.

Now there's alot of "if's" up there and not many guarantees, but I'm pretty optimistic that the Iwamura signing isn't going to be the only major move by the Rays this offseason.

Heck, just with the Iwamura signing, I'm almost willing to call this offseason a success.

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Did I just read what I wrote right?

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Yup, I'm almost considering 1 signing to equal a successful offseason.

Why, you ask?

In today's market, we know better from past mistakes to not "splurge" on mediocre Free Agents. I still cringe reading about "The Hit Show", which is when the Rays last made an attempt to splurge. Many of the more casual Rays fans question how KC is willing to dump 16 MIL this year on Meche and Dotel, while we failed to sign Russ Springer who got signed for a measley 1.75 MIL. The 2 somewhat bigger names(Riske & Mulder) that we've pursued are still up for grabs and there hasn't been much news on either front on where they're headed, so we haven't exactly struck out with either.

Also, to some fans' displeasure, we've yet to make any trades with our assortment of expendable players(Cantu, Rocco, Dukes and Upton, to name a few). What they don't understand, in some degree, is that we're better off waiting for a trade than to outright look for one. Rocco is our starting CF, a position whose back-ups right are more "what if's" than "sure things." This year's "trading chips" are different than those of last year(Lugo and Huff), who we should've traded before they entered their last year under contract. It's different because we aren't being tortured at all by keeping Dukes, Upton, Cantu and even Rocco to some extent. They, in the 3-6 years that we've got left in their controlling rights, have a bigger likelihood of increasing their trade value than decreasing it. However, at least in my mind, one or both of Cantu and Upton will be on another team before Opening Day.

The proverbial snowball is starting to roll down the hill as we speak, but we have no clue on how fast it's going down the hill and how long it's gonna take to start picking up steam. However, getting the ball rolling is the harder part and hopefully we get to see some positives of it before the season starts.

[editor's note, by Jacob Larsen]To those wondering why Iwamura hasn't been added to the "Added" list, it's all of my fault and nothing should be blamed on Patrick. Due to my temper and poor memory, I forgot to change something and forgot to notify Patrick of it. He hadn't the opportunity to fix the Iwamura thing, until now. Again, everybody and Patrick especially, I apologize.