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Talking About the 2010 Rays

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I got a request a few days ago to write a post on the 2010 Rays. What better time to make that post than today?  It's Friday, we're coming off a very good start by David Price, a sweep of a division foe, and heading into a series in which the Rays will wear the rainbow threads for the first time since 2000. Obviously we have a long, long time to discuss the details and I would rather avoid reckless rosterbation, but here we go.

First base: Carlos Pena (10.1 mil, last year)

The only option whether the Rays plan on attempting to extend him or not. Odds are Pena qualifies with Type-A status, meaning the Rays could collect two draft picks from the team that signs him. Tommy talked about re-signing Pena last week, and yeah, I love ‘Los just like everyone else, but it's probably not a good idea. Players with Pena's skill set don't age kindly, and Pena turns 32 next season making a multiple year contract more risky than smart.

Second base: Ben Zobrist (cost control, arb eligible after the season, free agent eligible after 2013)

Akinori Iwamura has a 250k buyout. He may or may not qualify for Type-B status, which would require the Rays to decline the option then offer arbitration in which Iwamura would have to decline. For someone coming off a knee injury, you wonder whether the extra sandwich pick after round 2 is worth it. Maybe the Rays can accept the option and trade him. 

Third base: Evan Longoria

Next.

Shortstop: Jason Bartlett (Arb2 after 2009)

Bartlett's season ensures a raise. He's making close to 2 million already, I wouldn't be shocked if he doubles that. With Reid Brignac sitting around and Bartlett coming off a career best season, you have to wonder what the trade market would look like. He'll be 30 and right now he has a .960 OPS, .200 points above his previous career best. Prime or not, that's not repeating itself.

Left field: Carl Crawford (10 million, last year)

Two scenarios here.

A) Crawford stays with the Rays, gets Type-A status, Rays get two picks.

B) Someone blows the Rays away with an offer and Gabe Gross/Fernando Perez take over.

Don't buy into the "WE CAN'T LET CARL WALK FOR NOTHING!!" talk, really, it's fiction. Unless someone comes close to the deal that Atlanta gave Texas for Mark Teixeira, it's probably better to let him walk.

Center field: B.J. Upton (Arb eligible after 2009)

Next.

Right field: Matt Joyce (cost control)

Next.

Designated hitter: Pat Burrell (9 million, last year)

Pray that he hits like in the past. If he qualifies for Type-A status and the Rays can cash in, they could have seven first/supplemental round picks in the 2011 draft. That would be spectacular.

Catcher: TBD

Maybe it's Navarro or Jaso, maybe it's someone not on the roster or in the organization. Way too early to speculate.

Bench:

Willy Aybar

Gabe Gross/Fernando Perez

John Jaso

Infielder

Rotation

James Shields, Matt Garza, Scott Kazmir(?), David Price, ???

Bullpen

J.P. Howell, Grant Balfour, Dan Wheeler, Lance Cormier, John Meloan, Brian Shouse(?), ???

Payroll without arb: ~49 million

Budget space:~ 15 mil

Arb: Gross, Nelson, Balfour, Riggans, Garza, Howell, Upton, Cormier, Bartlett, Navarro

If you figure each gets ~1 million, that's 10 million - and bear in mind we know Riggans won't get 1 million (if he's even tendered), instead I'm assuming combined they receive around 10 million, with more going to some than others, obviously. That leaves at most five million to add a catcher, reserve infielder, and maybe another pen arm. I'm also assuming the team doesn't decide to ship out a big contract and tighten the reigns a bit due to attendance.

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Again, this is more for the purposes of proving an overview than rosterbation.

Contract details courtesy of Cots