From David's post a few days ago you'll remember the NY Daily News writer taking a shot at the Rays and their payroll...well I took matters into my own hands and sent him an e-mail.
My original e-mail to Mr. Madden:
My last reply:
As far as your second comment, I can understand this point of view from a non-Rays fan perspective, however you must understand a few things concerning last season. More or less it was a transition year, players with decreasing value (see Aubrey Huff), expiring contracts at positions we had youth available at (remember we have guys like Reid Brignac at SS, Evan Longoria joined us in June and really broke onto the scene as a 3B / 2B, ect.) who would serve the team better if they didn't have ' Second Half Huff' blocking their way. Basically we traded for prospects last year to improve our system (now #1 by many including Jim Callis and John Sickels) and gave us future trading pieces (I know NYers don't wanna hear this, and it sounds outrageous, but perhaps it's the D-Rays who can make a run at Johan in 2009 at the deadline if the Twins can't afford him, we'll have at least three young, high potential arms in their low 20's who we can chip off.)
As far as this off-season nothing big other than Aki, but we'll be much improved. Remember a few things:
- Most of last year Damon Hollins / Greg Norton / Russ Branyan were our RF, if you don't think Delmon won't outproduce them than your crazy.
- Our team added the former Astros pitching coach Jim Hickey to the fold, and promoted 'Rays minor league pitching guru' Xaiver Hernandez and the entire Southern League champion (AA) staff to AAA, where they will work with a loaded rotation.
- We have pitching in the system....at AAA I mentioned that staff: Jason Hammel, J.P. Howell, Jeff Niemann, Mitch Talbot, and Andrew Sonnanstine. We have ANOTHER wave of studs coming through with Jake McGee, Wade Davis, and Matt Walker. After that we have Tyree Hayes, Jeremy Hellickson, and Alex Cobb. Basically we have enough arms that if more than half don't work out we'll still be in good shape.
Thank you for the reply and hopefully I didn't waste your time.