Royal Review is hosting the third annual SB Nation offseason simulation, and the Rays GM is none other than "The Mayor" himself, Sir Hatfield of house Lakeland.
The Fake Rays are looking to do what everything they can to improve, which might be nothing because the Rays are already the best team in baseball. Amiright? I'm right.
$7.5M option exercised on UTIL Ben Zobrist
$2.5M option declined on RP Joel Peralta
Move # 1
Rays trade P Jeremy Hellickson and OF Mikie Mathook to the Pirates for OF JaCoby Jones, OF Andrew Lambo and P Jared Hughes
This is a very possible trade in real life, not just in simulation world. The Rays pick up two power lotto tickets who are just as likely to quad-A and never pan out, but frees up the rotation logjam.
Some of the deals have been crazy thus far, but a dose of real life is nice too.
What almost was
There were also rumblings as we tried to make a few moves, but GM Hatfield likes to play hardball and sometimes that means you get outbid earlier in the process. It's day one!
A deal built around Matt Joyce and Richie Shaffer and a pitcher for Evan Gattis and Jose Peraza, but the Indians jumped in and snatched Gattis away.
Indians trade P T.J. House, OF David Murphy and OF Tyler Naquin to the Braves for OF Evan Gattis and SS Jorge Mateo
Cespedes was nearly a Rays player as negotiations went deep on a deal based around Matt Moore - Bryan Grosnick of Beyond the Box Score took the Cherington role and has been running wild - but the Astros outbid with an insane offer of their own.
Red Sox trade OF Yoenis Cespedes to the Astros for P Collin McHugh, P Mike Foltyznewicz, and OF Jake Marisnick
That's not even fair. It's trades like that to ruin the simulation for everyone.
A full list of transactions can be found here in the comments.
There's been plenty of interest in Ben Zobrist, so something might come sooner than later in Day 2, but we shall see!