The Winter Meetings have come and gone, and it seems most of Silverman's activity was spent introducing Kevin Cash to the media, and owner Sternberg's spent dropping threats to the bay area that the Rays could leave without a new stadium.
We'd come to expect that from talking heads and Scott Boras on a semi-annual basis, but never from the owner.
Then yesterday afternoon, the Rays lost one of their main catching prospects to the Rule 5 draft. Oscar Hernandez is headed to the Arizona Diamondbacks, as he was left unprotected by the Rays brass.
It's unlikely he will stick at the major league level, which he would need to do for a calendar year for the Diamondbacks to gain his contract rights, but if Arizona is self-aware enough to know they are out of playoff contention, they could stash him through poor performance. A talent like Hernandez might be worth it.
#Rays VP Bloom on Hernandez pick: "He’s a talented player but in our judgment he’s pretty far away. So we’re hopeful that we get him back.''
— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) December 11, 2014
Another Rays prospect who risked getting drafted was Rays Triple-A starter Merill Kelly, and apparently to his disappointment, he went unclaimed. Not seeing a future with the team, he is now off to the KBO.
Looks like SK will not only be adding Merrill Kelly, they will have Kim Kwang-hyun back as well (...unless he wants to try NPB)
— Dan (@MyKBO) December 11, 2014
The Padres were unable to land international free agent Kim, so he is currently slated to return to his team, the SK Wyverns, who you might remember Luke Scott and Chris Seddon played for after careers with the Rays.
The Rays made two moves themselves, on the minor league side of things, claiming RHP Luis Urena in the Triple-A round, and RHP Mikey O'Brien in the Double-A portion. The Rays were uncharacteristically pumped about the Urena pick, with Lukevics claiming he was at the top of the Rays draft board.
Among the Rays players to have their names circulated in trade rumors were Matt Joyce, Wil Myers, and Evan Longoria, and Ben Zobrist - but only the former is actually expected to be heading out the door.
Joyce's main competition on the market, Yoenis Cespedes, wasn't dealt until the close of the Meetings, so it's no surprise he's still a Ray, but for the fan the silence is maddening.
Silverman says there is no such silence, as he relayed to Topkin, "The conversations persist, the phone continues to ring and beep."
His phone beeps. Perhaps that is more maddening than our perceived silence.