Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe feels the Rays will add one of Jason Giambi, Milton Bradley, Pat Burrell or Adam Dunn.

Seems as if the prices for these guys are dropping rapidly, and the Rays might be able to add a pretty good hitter to replace Cliff Floyd and/or Rocco Baldelli.

It may seem that way on the surface, but some of these pieces are going to start falling very quickly. To no surprise, we are now hearing that the A’s and Giambi will soon be talking contract. And when push comes to shove, we feel the Cubs won’t let Bradley get away. Bradley may prefer the situation in St. Pete, but at some point the Cubs offer will be too much money to leave on the table.

Of course, that still leaves Burrell and Dunn, both of whom would provide the “impact bat” Andrew Friedman is seeking. But other teams like the Yankees and Angels may become interested if they fail to land either Mark Teixeira or Manny Ramirez. This could force the Rays to become more active in their pursuit of Burrell or Dunn.

And now Jon Heyman is reporting that the Rays and Burrell “are talking” and Heyman calls Burrell a “real possibility” for the Rays.

Burrell originally sought a three-year deal, but in a tough outfield/DH market he might have to settle for a one-year deal. Burrell’s outfield defense has slipped in recent years, but the Rays are mostly looking for offense.

Heyman also adds Bobby Abreu, Ken Griffey and Garret Anderson to the list of targets for the Rays, although this group is clearly “plan B.”

So if Burrell could stand to make more money from playoff-caliber teams like the Angels and Yankees, then why talk to the Rays now? Why not wait? Because the worst-case scenario may scare Burrell.

What if the Angels don’t want Burrell and the Yankees get Manny? What if Giambi signs a deal with the A’s for only $8-9 million, thus lowering an already low bar? And what if the Rays instead sign a Dunn or Griffey, taking a potent offense that will make a DH look very good in 2009, out of the bidding? If this scenario plays-out, Burrell could be forced to sign with a second-division team with a weak offense that will hurt his numbers in 2009 and hurt his chances of making a big score in next season’s free agent market. And he will have to sign for less than he could get from the Rays now.

While we liked the idea of Giambi or Bradley in a Rays’ uniform, we never thought it was a real possibility. But with the current state of the market, Pat Burrell and the Rays could be a marriage of convenience for both sides.

It’s the offseason of hope [Boston Globe]
A’s To Talk Contract With Giambi Soon [MLB Trade Rumors]
Burrell could fill Rays’ DH need [SI.com]

DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • It is not in our nature to be mysterious, but we can’t talk about it and we can’t talk about why. [Joe Bucs Fan]
  • Andrew Friedman says the Rays would like to improve their performance against lefties, but will not do it at the expense of hitting righties who account for 70-75% of the games over the course of a season. [Tampa Tribune]
  • Rays Digest takes a look at the middle infielders in the Rays’ system. [Rays Digest]
  • Rays Prospects takes a closer look at the Columbus Catfish hitters from last season. [Rays Prospects]
  • The Examiner takes a look back at the Rays’ game of the year. [The Examiner]
  • Rays Prospects has the winter league stats updated through last Thursday. [Rays Prospects]

 
 

5 Comments

  1. Jason in PA says:

    I still prefer Dunn over all of them, like I said before, it would be sweet to have a known 40HR hitter in a lineup that will have a healed Bossman, a year older Longoria, and Carlos Pena too…

    Get Dunn, and watch him hit the C ring at the Trop!

  2. stunna says:

    Agreed w/ Jason, I would prefer Dunn. I did want Bradley but that probably won’t happen. Burrell is on the downside of his career and I’m not sure he’s worth the money.

  3. The Professor says:

    you guys may be right about Dunn…

    But Dunn may think he ha a better shot at landing with the Yankees or even securing a long-term deal, which will keep him from talking too much with the Rays.

    Also, don’t fret too much about being on the downside of his career. Burrell has been very consistent the last 4 seasons (OPS+ in 120s every year), and we are probably talking about a one-year deal with a mutual option for a second year. Even if there is a regression in ’09, it will likely be small and we won’t have to worry about what he is doing 3 or 4 years from now.

  4. Joe D. says:

    when you think of the Rays I think that you have to concider who they’ve brought in in the past, guys like Hinske, and Pena. I have to imagine that all of these big name guys are just a smoke screen. I look for them to bring in a guy like Juan Rivera, and hope that he puts up numbers like he had in ’06

  5. Robert Rittner says:

    You may be right, Joe D., but as you say someone like Rivera since he has already signed elsewhere. I don’t think it is a smokescreen; I am just not confident that they will depart from their pattern of finding undervalued players rather than big names overvalued ones.

    The situation is different this year than in the past which is why they may indeed sign a Burrell or Dunn. So I do not think they are throwing up some sort of distraction with the talk in that direction. I just think that they will not splurge, will only sign one of that sort if the price is reasonable but will not overpay if the competition forces the issue.

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