Day Three of GM Hatfield and VP of Operations D-Russ is all taken care of, which saw some serious maneuvering for possibly Paul Goldschmidt that never came to pass. In the end they wanted all pitching and no Myers, so we had to shut it down.
The simulation continued it's craziness with some of the biggest free agents coming off the board, though not to the Rays.
- Brewers sign P Jon Lester to a 7 year $192 million contract with a vesting option for $20 million
- Giants sign 3B Pablo Sandoval to a 6 year $100 million contract
- Athletics sign P Max Scherzer to a 6 year $200 million deal with two options worth up to $57 million
- Padres sign OF Yasmany Tomas to a 8 year $128.8 million contract
- Diamondbacks sign SS Hanley Ramirez to a 5 year $130 million contract
- Tigers sign DH Victor Martinez to a 4 year $50 million contract
How much of that is real life?
The Rays tried to spin Tomas into taking a four year deal around $50M, letting him hit free agency again at age 28 to go after a massive contract later. Our thought process followed that a $100M deal is less ideal that the deal he could score when looking for a deal in his prime after bagging $50M.
The trick is to find the opportunity in that madness.
Here's our moves from Day 3!
Move No. 5
Rays sign OF Michael Cuddyer to a 2 year $22 million contract
This deal had actually been sent out yesterday around lunch, prior to the Mets signing Cuddyer in real life for 2/21, and with the penalty of a lost draft pick. The simulation world had no such restrictions, with the Rockies letting Cuddyer walk, so the Rays maintain their first round pick.
It's not always well advised to sign any player out of Coors Field, especially to a pitcher's park from a hitter's paradise, but Kid Cuddy has the passable defense to fill the void at first base while still contributing what could be a nice replacement of the bat for the traded Ben Zobrist.
Cuddyer achieved a .396 and .414 wOBA in 2013 and 2014, and is currently projected to a .329 wOBA and 109 wRC+ next season. That's better than Longoria's 2014, and would have been the third best bat on the team.
The Rays can improve on that bat, however, by giving the new manager the option of a platoon with the next move.
Move No. 6
Padres trade OF/1B Yonder Alonso to the Rays for OF Kes Carter
The right handed hitting Cuddyer should be able to succeed in most circumstances, but if he needs some time off against a particularly gifted pitcher, Alonso may be key.
Available for a song after the acquisition of Tomas clogged the Padres roster, the Rays picked up an excellent DRS, UZR, and OOZ mark in every season he's defended from first base. He's out of options, but under control for the next three seasons on the cheap, with potential to blossom.
Move No. 7
Rays sign P Rafael Soriano to a 2 year $20 million contract
There was a run on bullpen arms in Day Three, and with all the cost saving measures the Fake Rays deployed (with hopes of dumping Balfour down the road), the Rays still had ~$10M to spend out of the allotted budget by the simulation. GM Hatfield was having none of that.
When Andrew Miller demanded a four year deal (and found one with the White Sox) the Rays turned to a familiar face. MFIKY is back in the house, signed for a fraction (specifically 2/3) of his previous contract in Washington.
We'll see what cost cutting measures might come about tomorrow.