Here's a fun Fanpost article from mr. maniac wherein we pull our GM stockings over our heads and make predictions. Enjoy!
I thought this might be a fun thing to do. Below I have compiled several questions that relate to the Ray's offseason. When the offseason has reached its completion, it should be neat to look back and recall our own thoughts and predictions heading into the offseason. It will give us the opportunity to see how the Rays did in comparison with our expectations of their offseason.
Question #1. Will the Rays sign a catcher or a short stop to a major league deal?
For all of us informed fans, these two positions appear to be the main concern heading into the 2012 season. The Rays received minimal production from either spot over the course of this past season, and there appears to be no ready players in the system who can or will take over the spots. Tim Beckham looks like he is close to ready, but it is doubtful he will see much time with the Rays in 2012, barring injury.
The shortstop and catcher market is relatively thin, but that is to be expected of these two positions of need. The Rays probably will not be able to hand out large sums of money to anyone due to their financial constraints.
My answer: I think the Rays will give out a MLB deal to a catcher, although it may be a backup.
Question #2. Will the Rays head into the 2012 season with a payroll of $45 million+ or will they have a payroll below that?
In 2011, the Rays had a payroll, according to ESPN, of $41,932,171. Not much has been said regarding the payroll next year, except a comment by Sternberg saying:
I don't know, but we've clearly fallen short on our financial projections. We have to make some projections but I could not have projected our attendance would be down what it was. I don't think anybody would have thought that either. ... Nothing positive happened financially this year. We were last (in attendance going into the weekend). I hadn't even realized that. I didn't forecast last.
My answer: I think the payroll will end up slightly north of the 45 million mark heading into next season. I believe that the Rays will keep their two aces and that they will sign a DH for several million.
Question #3. Will BJ Upton be with the Rays after this offseason?
We all know the story with Upton: a solid player with rising costs and a ready replacement. If Upton is moved though, and Jennings shifted to CF, then Guyer or someone else would have to take up the LF ABs.
My Answer: No, I think BJ Upton will not be with the team next year. With both Shields and Price getting raises, I believe Upton will have to be traded.
Question #4. Will the Rays re-sign Casey Kotchman, and if not, will they acquire a first basemen in a trade, signing, or from the system?
My Answer: I think the Rays will acquire Yonder Alonso from the Reds for Jeff Niemann and several prospects. I think the Rays will sign Dan Johnson, or someone similar, to an MiLB deal as insurance for Alonso.
Question #5. Which, if any, starting pitcher will the Rays trade during the offseason?
We all know something is bound to happen with 8 pitchers capable of starting for the Rays entering 2012. The Rays have needs, and it may come down to who can acquire what the Rays need.
My Answer: I think the Rays will trade Jeff Niemann.
You can put your answers below in the comments.