Tampa Bay Rays (66-96)
As we mentioned yesterday, Elijah Dukes was traded to the Nationals and Josh Wilson was placed on waivers and claimed by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Glenn Gibson, who was acquired for Dukes is not a member of the 40-man roster. The moves leave the Rays with only 38 players on their 40-man roster, a fact that won’t go unnoticed if a player such as Dale Thayer or Nick DeBarr is lost to the Rule 5 draft on Thursday.
We are not certain why Wilson was placed on waivers at this time unless another trade or free agent signing is pending. However, it is not surprising that Wilson was the player chosen to be placed on waivers. We suspected that Ben Zobrist had the edge over Wilson for the utility infielder position off the bench. While Zobrist has a slight edge offensively and defensively, his ability to switch-hit was may have been the biggest factor as the Rays are currently without a left handed bat off the bench.
Remember the projections are based only on players currently within the organization. In other words, it is what the roster would like if opening day were today. Obviously there are still changes to be made. For example, we do not see Justin Ruggiano as the starting right fielder, and the Rays would prefer somebody other than Kurt Birkins fill the role of lefty in the ‘pen. The only significant change since the last update is Juan Salas is not on the roster. He still has options (can be sent to the minors) and recent comments by Joe Maddon suggest that Gary Glover is a front-runner to make the team. On the 40-man roster we are assuming that one of the final two roster spots will go to Evan Longoria and the other opening will be filled from outside the organization, so we just left one spot blank.
As for the TVI, the biggest change is obviously the additions of Matt Garza and Jason Bartlett. Also, the TVI suggests that if the Rays have a need to remove anybody from the 40-man roster, the most likely candidates are Kurt Birkins and Grant Balfour.
DEVIL RAYS WEBTOPIA…
- One of the biggest misconceptions in baseball is that “Moneyball” and Oakland A’s General Manager Billy Beane is all about loving players with strong OBPs. Not true. “Moneyball” was all about finding players that are undervalued by other teams. At the time “Moneyball” was written, not many teams placed a premium on OBP, and so those were the players targeted by Beane. Since the book was written, most other teams now realize the value of players with high OBPs and hence those players are no longer undervalued. Rays of Light examines this shift and wonders if 5-tool players are the new object of everybody’s affection. [Rays of Light]
- RJ Anderson takes a look at “Economics and Baseball” and how they pertain to trades. [DRays Bay]
- One blog looks at the correlation between market size and revenue sharing in baseball. The Tampa Bay Rays have the 5th smallest market, but have taken in the largest amount of revenue sharing. There are several interesting anomalies. For example, the Blue Jays are middle-of-the-pack for market size (12th), but received the second most revenue sharing funds. [Thoughts, Essays, Etc. Sent Into The Ether]