We had been wondering if the Rays would be willing to enter the 2009 season without a lefty-specialist. Now Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Rays are making a strong push for Brian Shouse.

The Rays are making a strong run at free-agent left-hander Brian Shouse, whose performance against left-handed hitters last season was nothing short of spectacular. Shouse, 40, held left-handed hitters to a batting average/on-base/slugging line of .180/.196/.290 while pitching in relief for the Brewers, striking out 28 and issuing only two walks in 104 plate appearances against him …

Despite being 40 years old, Shouse has only been a full-time major leaguer for six seasons, playing for five different big league teams.


  • Big League Stew has yet another interview with Evan Longoria. This time Dirtbag talks about being recognized (he can skip to the front of the line at restaurants), who he would interview (Manny Ramirez), the lack of interest in the WBC (baseball less popular than rugby), the Yankees spending habits (who cares), “Entourage” (he has a Turtle in his group). his dating life (he isn’t struggling), Jonny Gomes (he’ll miss him) and his new instructional cartoon DVD. [Big League Stew]
  • The interview yesterday we spoke about with Fernando Perez in which he revealed that James Shields and Coco Crisp no longer want to knock each other’s heads off…Now Bugs and Cranks has the video. [Bugs and Cranks]
  • Rays Review takes a look at how Pat Burrell might impact the Rays lineup. [Rays Review]
  • James Shields showed up at the Super Bowl to promote a new line of Reebok training shoes…The best part of the story is when the Herald-Tribune writer lost his seat to Andy Rooney.  [Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
  • Bill Chastain discusses the Rays Payroll. [MLB]
  • A while back we said that defense is the Rays’ “Moneyball” which is a bit simplistic, but it cannot be denied that defense is one area where the Rays have found value in both the trade and free agent markets. And in the end, value is what Moneyball is all about. Andrew Johnson of Fanhouse has a piece calling defense “the new on-base percentage.” [Fanhouse]
  • The Rays purchased the contract of an infielder from an independent league team. Jake Gautreau was a former first round pick by the Padres in 2001. In the Cleveland organization in 2007 he hit .226/.250/.363 in 62 games at triple-A. [Ft. Worth Star-Telegram]


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