Devil Rays 6, Red Sox 5.
Anybody else worried that the Rays closer next year will be 38 years old, with a history of Tommy John surgeries (emphasis plural) and throws 86 mph? Guess it could be worse.

With only a few hours to go before the league’s new early deadline for signing draft picks, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays signed David Price for a kazillion million dollars.

The left-hander from Vanderbilt University agreed to a six-year major-league contract that guarantees him $8.5 million and could rise to a total value of $11.25 million depending on how quickly Price reaches the majors.

What amazes us is that people are making such a big deal out of how much the Rays paid. Kudos to the front office for getting the deal done (we never had any doubt). All we have heard for the past 6-7 years is that the Devil Rays are not willing to pay the price to compete. The young power lefty is the rarest of commodities in baseball and the Rays did what it took to get the deal done.

Price will be assigned to Hudson Valley but Andrew Friedman stated that he is not likely to pitch for the organization in 2007.

Rays’ No. 1 Pick Agrees To Lucrative Deal [TBO]

DEVIL RAYS WEBTOPIA

  • Wives of the Devil Rays’ players have adopted a platoon of soldiers stationed overseas. The wives are seeking donations to be sent to the troops. Collections will be set up at gates 1 and 5 at the Trop, this Saturday and Sunday. [Devil Rays]
  • Yesterday’s victory was the Rays’ 20th on the road this season, matching last year’s total. The Rays have 19 road games left. [tampabay.com]
  • RaysTalk is reporting that Fernando Cabrera has been signed by the Devil Rays with Brian Stokes being designated for assignment. They do not provide a source and we have been unable to confirm. As of the time of this writing, Stokes is still listed on the Rays official 40-man roster. Anybody see this in print elsewhere? [RaysTalk]
  • Despite the concerns that the new deadline imposed by major league baseball could lead to a number of top picks going unsigned, every one of the top 30 picks inked deals with their respective teams. We hate to do this, but we may have to thank Scott Boras. Before the deadline, teams may have been feeling pressure to stick to the “slotted money” being recommended by the league office. For example, MLB was pushing for the Rays to only offer David Price a bonus in the $4 million range. One day before the deadline Boras was able to get Rick Porcello a guaranteed $7.2 million contract at the #27 slot. That may have eased the pressure on other teams as they could then point to that amount and “blame” Boras for the amount they would offer their picks. [Yahoo! Sports]
  • The Rays signed 20 of their top 21 picks. Anybody know who the “one” is? It is not one of the top 9 picks. [TBO]
  • Marc Topkin breaks down David Price’s contract and how much he will earn each season depending on whether he is on the 25-man major league roster. Pardon us for being daddy-downer this morning, but if Price is still in the minors in 2012 and the Rays are paying him $1.3 million, then the organization is in trouble. [tampabay.com]
  • Scott Kazmir has been a victim of the Devil Rays defense but has been able to overcome that in part due to his decreased rate of walks, both over his career and during this season. [The Fantasy Baseball Generals]

The Devil Rays are at an astounding -124, more than 80 worse than any other team. That is, their defense allowed 124 more balls than average to turn into hits. Their infield is dead last in revised zone rating by a large margin. RZR is a measure of the percentage of balls hit into a fielder’s “zone” that are turned into outs.

Before this year, Kazmir made steady improvement in his walk rate…His control has clearly slipped this year, but not to Dalkowskian levels. He was terrible in June, but in July and August he has gotten his control a bit under control (forgive the pun), with rates of 3.7 and 2.8.

  • The Hardball Times declares the Devil Rays as “the worst fielding team in baseball history,” and they provide data to back up their argument. Hard to believe when the team has potential or future gold glovers in left field (Carl Crawford), right field (Delmon Young), third base (Aki Iwamura) and first base (Carlos Pena). The problem is all those players play along the foul lines. More balls are hit up the middle and the Rays are awful up the middle. If Upton is not moved back to shortstop in the off-season, look for Andrew Friedman to look for an upgrade at that position defensively. There is enough offense in the rest of the lineup to allow for a no-hit, gold glove type at shortstop in 2008. [The Hardball Times]
  • In the meantime, Joe Maddon will spend the rest of 2007 evaluating Ben Zobrist, Brendan Harris and Josh Wilson to see if any of them will tep up and earn the starting job in 2008 at shortstop. [Devil Rays]
  • The Marlins are likely to trade Scott Olsen this off-season if he is convicted of DUI and resisting arrest. We are just spit-ballin’ here, but how about Rocco Baldelli-for-Olsen and…? [MLB Trade Rumors]
 
 

4 Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    rotoworld-

    Devil Rays claimed RHP Fernando Cabrera on release waivers.
    Cabrera now has five days to decide whether he wants to join the Devil Rays or become a free agent, with all indications pointing to his joining the Tampa Bay bullpen. If they can get him turned around, Cabrera could potentially be a future closer for the Devil Rays.

  2. The Professor says:

    yeah. that is all I have seen also. no indication anywhere that he has already signed as RaysTalk has indicated.

    I think they were jumping the gun a bit.

  3. Dave says:

    I see that a lot of Devil Rays’ fans are very high on Iwamura’s fielding. I haven’t seen him play enough, but he’s the third-worst fielding third baseman in the majors, according to Relative Zone Rating (which can be found on THT’s site).

    I’m not saying that fielding metrics are “the word.” They’re particularly chancy for third basemen. But is there a chance that DRay fans are being a little too glowing in their reports of Iwamura’s defense?

  4. The Professor says:

    He reminds me a lot of a very flashy shortstop.

    once every 2-3 games he will make the spectacular play.

    about once a game he will make the “almost” spectacular play. meaning he will dive for a hot grounder and glove it clean. he will bounce up and his throw will either be just a little late or just a little off.

    and then he will boot the routine play just often enough to shake your head.

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