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The Rays Tank: All The Signings!

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Rays complete three-way trade on the same day they announce the Rays360 Boardwalk renovation project at the Trop.

Sweet glasses, Heath!
Sweet glasses, Heath!
Denis Poroy

I’m pretty sure that I used nearly half of my monthly cell phone data allotment by spending nearly all day refreshing Twitter to keep up with all of the signings that went down yesterday. First and foremost, the Rays completed a three-way trade, the first for Andrew Friedman. Tampa Bay acquired catcher Ryan Hanigan from the Reds and a relief pitcher, Heath Bell, from the Diamondbacks. The Rays sent minor league pitcher, Justin Choate, and a player to be named later to the Diamondbacks in return. Wick Terrell of Red Reporter talked about what the Rays can expect from Hanigan here. Ian also discussed what acquiring Heath Bell means for the Rays.

Heath Bell talked with MLB Network Radio about looking forward to a fresh new start in Tampa Bay.

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While the details of that trade were being finalized, the Rangers and A’s managed to complete a deal of their own. Texas sent Craig Gentry to Oakland for outfielder Michael Choice. The A’s later sent Seth Smith to the Padres for pitcher Luke Gregerson. These moves coming the day after Oakland had traded for Jim Johnson and signed Scott Kazmir. Needless to say, Billy Beane has been keeping busy.

The Rockies also made two moves of their own yesterday, trading Dexter Fowler to the Astros for Brandon Barnes and Jordan Lyles, as well as securing a two-year deal with first baseman Justin Morneau.

Additionally, the Marlins signed Jarrod Saltalamacchia, AJ Pierzynski signed with the Red Sox, and Joe Nathan is heading to Detroit.

Last but not least, Jacoby "Trader" Ellsbury, signed a seven year/$153 million deal with the New York Yankees. Red Sox Nation took to Twitter to hash out their best goodbye tweets for Ellsbury, which certainly provided much humor if you did a search for "Ellsbury trader". Deadspin found some of the more pleasant tweets and compiled them into this post.

And just as I finished compiling everything for the tank, I see this on twitter:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Rays&amp;src=hash">#Rays</a> about to lose a free agent to <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Yankees&amp;src=hash">#Yankees</a> as well, with reports from NY that Kelly Johnson is set to sign with <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Yankees&amp;src=hash">#Yankees</a></p>&mdash; Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) <a href="https://twitter.com/TBTimes_Rays/statuses/408102827492245504">December 4, 2013</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Other TB Tidbits

The Rays finally unveiled some artist renderings of what the completed 360 degree boardwalk will look like around the Trop. Danny covered everything in this post. Per the Rays instagram, here’s a look at all four sketches in one picture:

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I’m kind of bummed that centerfield still has the glass windows though. Roger Mooney mentioned that the side balconies do not have the windows, so if you want to catch homerun balls during batting practice, your best bet will be to stay towards the sides of where the Batter’s Eye Restaurant used to be.

Today is the last day to vote for the MLB Network Social Media Awards, so make sure to cast your votes for the Rays in a variety of categories! The Rays nominations are:

Yunel Escobar for #OMG! Play of the Year, Joe Maddon for Best Bite, Dick Vitale for Celebrity Fan of the Year, David Price for Favorite Follow, Kelly Nash for Selfie of the Year, Wil Myers for Socially Savy Rookie (definitely should have been Chris Archer) and the Rays twitter spat with Boston is up for Tweet of the Year.

Winners will be announced on Sunday, December 15th in a ceremony hosted by Greg Amsinger, Heidi Watney, and LoMo. Per MLB Network, a social media ticker will stream during the show with live fan feedback via the hashtag "#MLBNSocialAwards.

Links:

-Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs examined the Rays/Reds/DBacks trade. Sullivan mentioned that Bell is "coming off his best xFIP since his Padres days, so there’s a chance that the Rays could squeeze some value out of him yet, not unlike what they did with Fernando Rodney."

-On RotoGraphs, Mike Podhorzer takes a look at the stolen base aging curve.

-Corey Hart has been cleared for baseball activities. The Rays have already been connected to Hart, so could we see the wheels start to turn on a deal soon?

-Jack Moore of Sports on Earth talks about the Rays buying low on Heath Bell.

-Tony Clark became the first ex-MLB Player to be head of the MLB Players Association.

-Jim Caple of ESPN.com had some fun creating these free-agent’s resumes. Grant Balfour’s is definitely the best.

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