Lots o’ linkety goodness today, so let’s get to it.


  • Cal Ripken Jr., co-founder of the Ripken Group, which owns the Charlotte Stone Crabs, will be in attendance on opening night (April 9) for the Stone Crabs inaugural season. No word yet if he will further distance himself from his Orioles roots by wearing a Stone Crabs jersey, only months after donning a Rays jersey at The Trop.
  • We can’t remember the last member of the Rays who had an agent that talked as much as the agent for Dioner Navarro. Yesterday, Kendall Almerico stirred the pot a bit when negotiations for a long-term contract reached an impasse. Almerico warned that Navarro’s future with the Rays may depend on how the Rays treat Navi during next week’s arbitration hearing. [The Heater]
  • Cliff Floyd has agreed to a one-year deal with the Padres. And no, the Padres did not switch to the AL this off-season, which means Dr. Huxtable will somehow attempt to play the outfield, something he hasn’t done since 2007. [MLB Trade Rumors]
  • According to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN, before the Rays landed Pat Burrell with a two-year, $16 million deal, the Rays had offered Bobby Abreu a one-year, $7.5 million contract (thanks Joe). [ESPN]
  • Drays Bay is the latest to express their “dislike” for those trying to project which team will be “The Next Rays.” Then Drays Bay proceeds to tell us that the Pirates will be the next Rays…What’s the word for that? Hippocampus? Hippopotamus? [Drays Bay]
  • A year ago we would have projected this for Jake McGee, but Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus wonders if Wade Davis might play the same role that David Price played down the stretch and in the playoffs last season (thanks TP). [Baseball Prospectus]

[The Rays] found lightning in a bottle twice last year in filling their closer role, beginning the year with Troy Percival there, and then finishing it with power lefty David Price, the best pitching prospect in the game, getting key outs in the post-season. With Price likely moving to the rotation in 2009, the Rays might try to strike gold again with another electric arm in their warehouse of top-flight prospects, as righty Wade Davis has mid-90s heat and a nasty power curveball, leaving many scout to wonder if the current starting pitcher prospect could just flat-out dominate in shorter bullpen stints.

  • This picture of Derek Rodriguez is stock and it has always bothered us. His face is too close to the camera. It feels like his nose it poking us in the eye. And by the way, Bill Chastain says one of the more interesting subplots of Spring Training will be to see how good Rodriguez truly is. [MLB]
  • The Rays are 12/1 to win the World Series in 2009.  The Yankees are the favorites at 5/2 with the Cubs and Mets at 7/1 and the Red Sox at 15/2. For those not familiar with betting lines, these odds are not necessarily based on who Vegas thinks will win. Rather, the odds are more a reflection of who they think the gamblers will bet on. And in bets like World Series and Super Bowl odds, a gambler is most likely to bet on their favorite team. So unless they are not even considered a contender, the teams with the most fans will always have the shortest odds. [The Spread]
  • The Rays Party is counting down their top 20 prospects. Today is #17, Kyle Lobstein. [The Rays Party]


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