- Tampa Bay continues to be the place to come to rebuild your free agency value. After Travis d’Arnaud turned a good three-quarters of a season into 2 years/$16 million with the Braves, Avisaíl Garcia has turned a 2019 in which he slashed .282/.332/.464 with decent defense and baserunning into 2 years/$20 million with the Milwaukee Brewers. Good thing the Rays don’t need right handed batters.
Surprised by the size of the contract? You are not alone:
And Garcia and his agent appear to have some thoughts about the ability of players to earn in the future:
Avisail Garcia turned down 3 year deals with Brewers and elsewhere due to the expiring basic agreement in 2 years and the chance to raise the AAV afterward. Betting on himself #brewers— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 16, 2019
- The Rays have finalized the signing of OF/3B Yoshitomo Tsutsugo; he’ll be introduced today at Tropicana Field. He has certainly gotten a lot of fans excited in his native Japan.
This. Is. SO. Cool.— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) December 17, 2019
Baseball!!! The best. In any language and any country. And creating bonds across those? Even better. ❤️ https://t.co/7GDoPsUM4E
- Here’s a fun retrospective courtesy of Steve Carney:
Rays in the community:
- The team has a schedule of holiday-themed community events. Rays employees will be at Daystar Life Center in St. Petersburg to pack food baskets on December 15; St. Petersburg’s Ronald McDonald house for cookie baking on the 16th; and Boys and Girls Club of Tarpon Springs on the 18th, where they will distribute gifts donated by season ticket holders. The Pinellas Park Boys and Girls Club will also be visiting Tropicana Field to to see the Enchant Christmas display.
Around the league:
- Lindor to the Padres? Schwarber to the Yankees? To be honest, I generally don’t love articles that simply suggest unlikely trade ideas, but what else can we do on a day when no real trades or signings happen? At least Ken Rosenthal does a good job of explaining his thought process. ($)
- Carlos Carrasco returned to the mound this year after needing time off to treat his leukemia. This story focuses on the relationship he developed with another cancer patient. ($)
- Craig Edwards at Fangraphs suggests that Corey Kluber’s trade value just wasn’t that high. My favorite line from this article: “What’s most bizarre about this Kluber trade is that if he weren’t already on Cleveland, the team would be an ideal landing spot for him.”
- Baseball’s new drug policy is a big deal, and a step in the right direction, per ESPN’s The Undefeated.