Before Thanksgiving, the Rays did something weird. Again. At the 40 man roster deadline, the Rays were unable to find any trade partner for CJ Cron. They DFA’d a good player who wasn’t that expensive but maybe getting more expensive than the market dictates. For a second straight year, the hot takes were fast and furious and red hot. Somehow the “Rays are a disgrace” didn’t get thrown around, but various synonyms for that were. All the usual suspects who had sharpened their spears ready to go hunting for Cownose, Manta, and baseball Rays.
Just like last year’s Big DFA’ing Dickerson Drama, the immediate reaction was bold, hyperbolic, and in my opinion, far too short sighted. It was not done in isolation. This was a move that is obviously setting up more moves. And again, Mike Petriello and Jeff Sullivan stand out among baseball writers that take a beat, look deeper than just the knee jerk reaction, and analyze the Rays weird moves.
It’s not about liking or disliking the move in a vacuum. It’s not even about whether the move works are the end of the season. It’s a matter of understanding the process.
C.J. Cron Got Dickersoned - Jeff Sullivan, Fan Graphs: Sullivan is so very good at understanding how the Rays operate, and breaking down the reasons behind a lot of their weird moves.
It’s time for the Rays to make aggressive moves - Mike Petriello, MLB: Petriello lays out a really good road map for what corresponding moves the Rays should pursue going forward. Many of the targets are the ones we here at DraysBay have mentioned and/or pined after (is this the year Danny’s offseason simulation target of Paul Goldschmidt to the Rays becomes a reality for the real world Rays?) and would be absolutely the right moves to make to upgrade the team.
2018 Rule 5 Preview V 1.0 - J.J. Cooper, Baseball America: Rays 2B prospect Kean Wong is among a few players previewed and profiled as notable available players in this year’s Rule 5 draft.
Heredia Walks it off: And another angle of new Rays OF Guillermo Heredia’s walk off HR in the Dominican League. Looks like he’s bringing a nice bat flip to the Trop!
Rays Roster Additions: from Brock Burke to Ian Gibaut - Mat Germain, Wander Rays: Former writer and always friend of the site, Mat Germain has launched a new website that you should definitely be checking out. Mat’s a big prospect guy, so his player profiles for the future of the Rays are worth your attention.
Faria Watch 2018: Thanksgiving Greetings from the honeymooning Jacob and Jessica Faria.
Longtime Rays minor-league coach/manager Bill Evers joins Rocco Baldelli’s Twins staff - Marc Topkin, Tampa Bay Times: Rocco gets his former minor league coach to bolster his staff.
Rays Triple-A manager Jared Sandberg joins coaching staff with hometown Mariners - Marc Topkin, Tampa Bay Times: Homecoming of sorts for Sandberg, heading to Seattle with perhaps a better opportunity in the near future. It’s tough to lose all these good coaches, but it is a sign of how strong the organization is right now that team’s are coming calling.
Thanksgiving Edition: Rays players I am thankful for - Austin Reimann, Rays Colored Glasses: A listacle on Austin’s favorite Rays in the spirit of the holiday. If you had to pick just one, who is the Rays player you are most thankful for? For me, both in honor of my favorite Thanksgiving dessert and being a miracle worker in the most unlikely times, it’s the Great Pumpkin Dan Johnson.
Around the League
Adrián Beltré retired, and the internet’s heart is broken - Grant Brisbee, SBNation: Grant’s loving tribute to the retirement of a future Hall of Famer and one of the most likeable players of his generation.
Derek Dietrich: All-Time Leader - Jeff Sullivan, Fan Graphs: Jeff had the job as DFA master at Fan Graphs it seems, and profiles the ex-Rays, ex-Marlins utility hitter and someone with a neat distinction.
How teams might evaluate Harper’s defense - Mike Petriello, MLB: Fascinating, in-depth look at a different way to view the Bryce Harper FA market and Harper’s value on defense.