Tampa Bay Rays (66-96)

DEVIL RAYS WEBTOPIA

  • The Rule 5 draft was held yesterday and the Rays selected Tim Lahey from the Minnesota Twins and then traded him to the Cubs. The Rays lost one player, as Evan Meek was taken with the second pick by the Pirates. [Baseball America]
  • In the AAA phase of the Rule 5 Draft, the Rays selected Rashad Eldridge from the Twins. Eldridge was a 5th round pick in 2000 and has had a very unimpressive career to date. The Rays selected two other players in the Rule 5 draft that will never wear a Rays uniform so there names are unimportant. [Baseball America]
  • Rays Anatomy takes a look at the players selected by the Rays in the Rule 5 Draft, including the two unnamed players from above. [Rays Anatomy]
  • Most of us are familiar with the Rule 5 draft (not Rule V), but did you know that baseball’s amateur draft held in June is actually the Rule 4 draft? Baseball Prospectus takes a look at the Rule 4 draft and projects the first 10 selections, predicting that the Tampa Bay Rays will take Pedro Alvarez, a 1B/3B from Vanderbilt. The most eye-opening line is the last one, in which BP projects that Alvarez would eventually be the best bat in the Rays lineup. It isn’t like the Rays don’t have any good bats and Evan Longoria is knocking on the door. [Baseball Prospectus]

Pedro is still the class of this draft, but the top high schoolers closed the gap over the summer. You can bet Alvarez is going to have some huge bonus demands — if he regresses at all as a junior (like Matt Wieters did), Tampa will explore other options. In the end, though, this should be their guy. He could be great at first and probably even work in right, and he’ll be the best bat in their lineup at some point.

  • Yahoo! Sports has named the Tampa Bay Rays as one of the winners of the Winter Meetings. Keep in mind that the Matt Garza trade was made prior to the Winter Meetings. [Yahoo! Sports]

The Elijah Dukes Experiment, which went about as well as metal in a microwave, is finally over, and GM Andrew Friedman even managed to procure a decent prospect from Washington in the trade. For too long, the Rays tolerated Dukes’ sociopathic behavior because his talent. His Crazy Factor – the formula for which is DTTW+JPD/BA (death threats toward wife plus joints per day divided by batting average) – finally spiked too high even for their liking, though, and somehow they found a willing buyer in the Nationals. This is six months late, yes, but better than never.

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