Tampa Bay Rays (66-96)
What is the best cure for The Hangover? Happy Hour!
There was just too much going on in the Raysiverse that we couldn’t wait until tomorrow morning when nobody turns on their computers. Without further ado…
DEVIL RAYS WEBTOPIA…
- The Nationals traded Ryan Church to the Mets for Lastings Milledge. This move does not necessarily mean that the Nationals are no longer interested in Elijah Dukes. The Nationals would want Dukes to play center field. Church logged considerable time in center last season and Milledge is primarily a left fielder although he can play center. Washington may still be in the market for a center fielder. [Newsday]
- Marc Lancaster also thinks the the Nationals may still try to acquire Elijah Dukes because Washington’s GM Jim Bowden is quite fond of “toolsy outfielders”. [TBO]
- The Troy Percival deal has now been officially announced. The only difference from previous reports is that incentives could reach $4 million over the two years based on games played and games finished. [tampabay.com]
- Larry Brown Sports is surprised that a player would turn down more money from the Yankees to sign with the Rays. If everything else was equal, we would be surprised also, but the Rays undoubtedly promised Troy Percival that he would be the closer, as opposed to a set-up man in New York. [Larry Brown Sports]
- This morning we wondered aloud whether Evan Longoria would be MiLB’s top prospect. He is not. He comes in at #2. [MiLB]
With fewer than 200 professional games under his belt, Longoria appears ready for the big leagues. He made it to Triple-A in his first full season and has shown the ability to hit for average and power in his brief pro career. Defensively, he’s got good hands and a strong arm at third base.
Players who come out of Long Beach State seem to have pretty good heads on their shoulders and know how to play the game the right way (see Tulowitzki, Troy). Longoria definitely fits that mold and his makeup and work ethic are off the charts. That should enable him to get to the big leagues, and stay there, in short order. It’s not guaranteed, but it’s hard to imagine he won’t make the 2008 big-league roster as the Opening Day third baseman, pushing Akinori Iwamura to second base.
- Saturday is the deadline for teams to offer arbitration to eligible players. While Scott Kazmir, Carlos Pena, Jonny Gomes and Dan Wheeler are no-brainers…Gary Glover and Grant Balfour are not, especially with the signing of Troy Percival and the acquisition of Matt Garza which presumably bumps Jason Hammel to the bullpen. [Devil Rays]
- WOOHOO! The acquisition of Matt Garza and Jason Bartlett leaves at least one blogger believing that the Rays are now better than the Royals. [Royals Review]
- Based on “Mariginal Revenue Products” estimates, whatever those are…Carlos Pena was the 5th most valuable American Leaguer. [Sabernomics]