The template below will lay out the decisions the Rays have ahead of them. You have free reign to make the moves you think will vault the team back into contention!
First, some tips and instructions.
Copy and paste the template into a FanPost. If you have not written a FanPost before, we have instructions here. In short, you will need two things: (1) an active SB Nation account registered at DRaysBay (the “join” button is at the bottom of this post if you are not already a member), and (2) the link to the FanPost section, which can also be found on the right side of our home page.
Cot’s Baseball Contracts has Tampa Bay’s payroll obligations. Note: Contracts are where you need to be reasonable, as the Rays are expected to keep their payroll in the $70 million range from now until eternity... You can find the 40-man roster here, the Payroll should not exceed $85 million without good reason.
MLB Trade Rumors has a list of the 2017-18 MLB free agents. Remember that some of these players have contract options that will be exercised, so use your best judgment to determine which players will actually be available on the free agent market.
I’m still working out the details, but rest assured there will be some sort of prize for your contributions.
Rest assured that the best submissions will make it to the front page, and then we will either take it to a vote, or let a random number generator do the picking. The more submissions we get, the better the prizes. That’s all I can promise for now...
Now, the fun part.
[Insert your name]’s Offseason Plan
Only four players are under contract for next season:
- Evan Longoria - $13.7 million
- Wilson Ramos - $8.5 million
- Chris Archer – 6.42 million
- Kevin Kiermaier - $5.67 million
You can choose to offer the following players the contracts listed below or non-tender them (i.e. not offer them a contract and allow them to leave as a free agent). Feel free to explain any of your tougher decisions.
- Jake Odorizzi (4.042) - $6.5 million
- Corey Dickerson (4.101) - $6.4 million
- Alex Colome (3.118) - $5.5 million
- Adeiny Hechavarria (5.060) - $5.0 million
- Brad Miller (4.094) - $4.4 million
- Steven Souza Jr (3.072) - $3.6 million
- Dan Jennings (4.171) - $2.5 million
- Xavier Cedeno (4.060) - $1.4 million
- Jesus Sucre (3.137) - $1.3 million
- Chase Whitley (3.123) - $1.0 million
- Shawn Tolleson (5.109) - $1.0 million
- Matt Duffy (3.059) - $900K
Nathan Eovaldi is the only player with a team option for next season, so the decision to retain the rest of the players is quite simple. Pay arbitration, or waive the player to be a free agent.
Pending Free agents
These players were with the Rays last season, but are now free agents.
- Alex Cobb - $4.2 million in 2016
- Logan Morrison – $2.5 million in 2016
- Lucas Duda - $7.25 million in 2016
- Steve Cishek – $6.0 million in 2016
- Tommy Hunter - $1.4 million in 2016
- Sergio Romo – $3.0 million in 2016
- Peter Bourjos - $1.35 million in 2016
- Trevor Plouffe - $5.25 million in 2016
- Colby Rasmus - $5.0 million in 2016
- Shawn Tolleson - $1.0 million in 2016
If you choose to sign any free agents, name the player(s), the maximum contract offer you would extend to them, and a brief explanation. Here’s an example (via MLBTradeRumors.com):
Michael Pineda (two years, $6.0 million): Earlier this year, Pineda looked like a potential top ten free agent despite his continued problems allowing home runs. However, he went down for Tommy John surgery in July, and likely won’t be much of a factor in 2018. Pineda, just 29 in January, put up big strikeout rates and strong control in his Yankees career and makes for a nice upside play if he’s willing to sign a two-year deal.
If you choose to trade any players, propose a deal that sounds reasonable for both sides. Offloading Corey Dickerson without a replacement in mind for left field because you’re annoyed by the player is unreasonable. Furthermore, you’re not picking up Kyle Schwarber for a bag of peanuts.
Trade suggestions need to look more like this:
Trade Alex Colome to the Cardinals for Dexter Fowler: The Cardinals are looking for an impact reliever while the Rays are in need of outfield depth and players who consistently get on base. With that in mind, the Rays offering Alex Colome suggests to be a solid match. At the least, the Rays should at least call and see what it would take to get a deal done for a controllable outfielder.
It’s one thing to list all the moves you want to make, but like my professor tells his students, show your work! More detail makes for a more interesting FanPost, and thus more commentary in the comment section.
Keep in mind, this year the Rays ended the season with roughly a $80MM payroll and Stu Sternberg has been on record saying next year’s payroll to start the season will be lower, so factor that aspect into your decisions.
We’ll be sure to promote the more thoughtful efforts to the front page over the next couple of weeks. If you think we should be promoting a submission, give it a Rec!