It's been a while since I wrote a notes column, partially because of my increased activity at Beyond the Boxscore and a few side projects, but here we go.
An interesting perk in Troy Percival's contract that has seemingly went unnoticed would be the inclusion of a "vintage automobile," I really don't have any other information on it, but it shows the creativity the team has shown when making contracts - from option deals with Crawford and Baldelli heavy with incentives and team buyouts to David Price's split deal to Percival's, being the guy who crafts the details in the contracts has to be a fun job in the organization.
I wouldn't be surprised to find the player that drove that three team trade that fell apart for the Rays being Arizona's Chad Tracy - a left handed bat who can play the corners on the dirt and turf.
Michael Barrett accepting the Padres' offer of arbitration makes it less likely in my eyes that he's acquired by the Rays rather than more likely. Barrett wasn't about to get around four million from the Rays - a likely figure from arbitration - and for the Rays is a young player all ready in the system less valuable than a random choice in the 60's next June, particularly when it may not be the player the Rays want. Take for example this year when catcher Josh Donaldson was the desired pick, but naturally was chosen in the supplemental selections, he hit .335/.460/.590 in short season ball - instead Will Kline became the pick and looked hittable in Columbus - although fatigue likely played a factor, as did one extremely poor outing.
I don't think we've seen the last of Evan Meek in the organization, simply put he'll likely walk his way out of a job - even in Pittsburgh, but that's not to say Durham won't have a flamethrower in his place, recent Rule 5 pick Julio Puentes features a 95 miles per hour fastball - that coming from a 6'4" frame, yikes. Joining Puentes at Durham will be the other two Rule 5 picks, Jose Mejias and outfielder Rashad Eldridge who will likely join Justin Ruggiano and some combination of Fernando Perez, Jon Weber, and Chris Richard in the Bulls' outfield.
With the additions of Eduardo Morlan and Glenn Gibson the Rays' farm system only got deeper, Baseball America will unleash the top 10 rankings on January 9th, a rough guess would have Evan Longoria and David Price ranking first and second with Jake McGee, Wade Davis, and Reid Brignac rounding out the top five.