Just throwing out some hypothetical situations considering the roster, and what we could possibly think about doing before April 2nd.
First off I'd nearly bet my house that Al Reyes makes the squad, meaning someone on the 40 man is going to have to bite the dust. The obvious choices are Scott Dohmann, Brian Stokes, Edwin Jackson, or Josh Paul, however it seems to me that it would make more sense for a 2-1 trade for someone who wouldn't have to be on the 40 man anytime soon.
Now the Florida Marlins still want one of our outfielders without a home in B.J. Upton and Elijah Dukes, however other than Scott Olsen they really are in no condition to offer us anything healthy off of their 40 man, so what's the solution?
Enter Chris Volstad or Sean West, two young, giant pitchers in the low minors of the Marlins' system. Now if the Marlins really want their man, and I'm hoping that's a Bossman or Afroman selection, they could make us a deal we just can't refuse and send one of the youngsters across the state.
Of course if it were to be Bossman, whom misplayed a deep fly ball yesterday in his first in-game action in center, the local and national media would probably crucify the Rays, though that's nothing new.
Those two trades really have no chance of happening considering the Marlins wanted to give us Ricky Nolasco for both B.J. Upton and Seth McClung. Larry Beinfest is a smart man, heck he tried playing the old `now here's a starter, now he's a closer' value check with Nolasco during the winter hoping to rob the Rays, mission failed.
It's hard to judge if either Carlos Pena or Hee Seop Choi will make the Rays roster, thus needing another 40 man spot open, but if somehow one does, it would make sense to send Greg Norton packing. At this point he has little value, though he was coming off of a career year, but then again it's not like Russ Branyan didn't yank in two high reward relievers, so stay tuned, though I think the best option would be to include him in a package or waive him if he's the odd man out.
Shawn Riggans should really be the backup catcher this year, so far his appearance in the game against the Yankees proved he's got enough bat to replace Mr. .267 Josh Paul. I know Rays Nation is having fun with the "Good face." Comments made by Joe Maddon, but in all seriousness, Riggans needs to be on the roster come April, Paul has little to none value unless a team is really desperate.
It's good to see Jonny Gomes back in order with a two homerun day, including a homer off of A.J. Burnett, it's only spring, sure, but a healthy Gomes is going to make a huge difference. When the Rays were playing their best ball last season Gomes was leading the AL in homeruns, no coincidence that once his shoulder was injured and he began his `popgun' stage of 2006 the team completely fell apart.
Interesting to see everyone bombarding the Rays for not keeping Josh Hamilton, yet does anyone really think Hamilton is any better than Baldelli, Crawford, Dukes, Gomes, Upton, or Young? If not, then what makes anyone think he would've had a shot at the team? He hit a `500' foot homerun, that's grand and all, but the guys we're really missing out on is Toe Nash, he hit three 550 foot homeruns in the penitentiary league while pitching a 2-hitter, in fact Toby Hall recently said if he couldn't make the White Sox he'd be interested in joining the `Cell Block D-Estroyers' and noted the great team bonding, especially between the more athletic types and the weaker ones.