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Tampa Bay Rays News and Links: It’s quiet. Too quiet.

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MLB: All Star Game-Futures Game David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Rays News

Wander Franco is one of several Rays playing winter ball in the Dominican Republic. You can quench your baseball thirst with some clips:

DRaysbay historian Adam Sanford found this 1993 news report on the efforts to bring a baseball team to Tampa Bay. Some great nuggets: The claims about the economic impact of a baseball team (LOL) and the rumors that George Steinbrenner was going to buy the Buccaneers

Around the League

Hall of Fame voting has begun; some voters share their ballots on line. Fangraphs discusses the candidates for this year. Newcomers like Mark Buehrle and Torii Hunter may get some votes, and we can rehash the arguments over Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling.

Theo Epstein is stepping down as the President of Baseball Operations for the Cubs. He was expected to leave at the end of his contract, which expires after the 2021 season, but is leaving a year early. His letter to colleagues explains his reasoning (more time with family?))$)

The stove is getting warm: former Ray Drew Smyly has signed a one-year, $11 million deal with the Atlanta Braves. Whether that seems like a lot or a little depends on whether you focus on Smyly’s stuff when healthy, or on how few healthy months he’s had:

Mike Clevenger has signed a deal with the San Diego Padres, the team to which he was traded in 2020, to buy out his last two years of arbitration. He is undergoing Tommy John Surgery (his second) and will miss 2021. His two year contract with the Padres, then, will cover a rehab year and, if all goes well, his comeback year.

On Daniel Bard’s comeback ($)

More on Kim Ng’s historic appointment as Marlin’s GM.

At last, someone has analyzed everyone’s favorite baseball oddity: position players pitching.

We know some of you have some creative approaches to baseball analysis. Well, this year’s SABR conference is virtual; what a great opportunity to present your work. Conference submission info is here.