THE GOOD: The future of the Rays remains intact. Despite reports that the Rays were offering the Pirates both Jeff Niemann and Reid Brignac, that now appears to be false. And if that is the case, it is pretty clear that the Rays had little or no intention of tinkering with what has become the foundation of the organization, the farm system. Depth in the farm system is a beautiful thing and it does serve a more important purpose than just being able to trade the pieces away. And with the recent loss of Jake McGee to Tommy John surgery, that depth had already taken a huge hit. Add to that the slowed development of a few prospects (ie. Heath Rollins, Glenn Gibson) and we see how important it is to have depth in the system…Winning the division just got a little easier. RAYSHEADS have to be ecstatic that Manny Ramirez is out of the division and out of the AL. Jason Bay is a decent replacement, but he is no Manny and David Ortiz is suddenly going to start seeing much fewer good pitches. Teams were afraid to pitch to Manny. That won’t be the case with Bay.
THE BAD: We have to admit, that for about 20 minutes yesterday (as this site turned into a Live Blog-A-Baloo for the trade deadline), when we heard that the deal to send Jason Bay to the Rays was going to happen, we got a little excited. The package seemed fair, and maybe even a bit of a steal, and we started envisioning a lineup in which Carlos Pena and Evan Longoria are forced to hit 5th and 6th in the order. We were down-right giddy…The future of Jeff Niemann and Reid Brignac. Both could have gone to the Pirates and had a chance to be regulars on that ballclub. Now they are still stuck in triple-A.
THE TELLING: Several outlets are already declaring the Rays “losers” at the trade deadline. On the one hand we understand the perception that the Rays missed an opportunity to improve the club. Of course, these are the same people that still feel the Rays are behind the Sox and Yankees in the standings. We could understand saying the Rays were “losers” if they had turned down an offer. But seeing the package the Pirates received for Jason Bay, it is clear that the Rays would have never been able to match that deal. And remember the Rays are still going to be adding pieces to the mix. It is just those pieces will come from the farm system.
DEVIL RAYS WEBTOPIA…
- We missed this in the minor league feature earlier today, but a source with the Princeton Rays tells us the reason Tim Beckham missed 3 straight games this week, was due to a death in his family.
- Marc Lancaster is reporting that it is believed that the Pirates and Rays never discussed a deal that included both Jeff Niemann and Reid Brignac. And apparently the Pirates coveted Jeremy Hellickson and not Wade Davis as several media outlets were reporting yesterday. [Tampa Tribune]
- Andrew Friedman said there is very little chance of the Rays making any deals in August in which players must first clear waivers. [St. Pete Times]
- The Trop comes in tied for #10 in PETA’s annual list of the “Top 10 Vegetarian-Friendly Ballparks”. [PETA]
- We are not sure we agree with Bugs and Cranks who still has the Rays on top of their power rankings. We gotta go with the Angels, especially after trading for Mark Teixeira. [Bugs and Cranks]
- And the latest installment of Bugs and Cranks comparison of wins #63 from each of the Rays’ first ten seasons. [Bugs and Cranks]