Jorge Ebro reports that the Rays have signed 1B/OF Leslie Anderson to a 4-year, $3.75 million deal. Anderson, 27, a Cuban defector, tried out for 9 teams in February. Two of the scouts left the tryout “unimpressed” which likely kept the Rays in the bidding.

From Cuban Ball Players:

Leslie Anderson has been the best hitter for Camagüey. The versatile Anderson was used as a center fielder and then was moved to first base once Loidel Chapellí retired. Anderson has played RF for the national team. Anderson has gap power. He is not your typical slugger like Ryan Howard or Albert Pujols. Anderson could hit between 15-20 home runs at the Major League level if given the chance. He is a gold glove type first baseman, but I believe his value is in CF a position that requires less power than first base and in his overall versatility.

And here is a first-hand account of his workout in February:

“Leslie showed a below average arm while throwing from centerfield and first base. He ran badly from home to first base. During batting practice he hit several line drives, but showed no power. Defensively, he’ll need to play either first base or left field and hit with a very high average and lots of home runs, and right now I don’t project that he could.”

Hmmm? So the Rays first sign Hank Blalock and then give a Cuban first baseman $4 million? Anybody still think the Rays will re-sign Carlos Pena?

And yes, our first reaction to news that the Rays had signed “Leslie Anderson” was: He’s from Cuba?



  1. Don says:

    Where does all these $1mil signings come from… and where does a club get the money?? they say they can’t pay CC $3or4mil more per year.. Their going to lose their best player and use the money to sign a bunch of bums…This guy 27 yo. …..can’t make the team!!! Goodbuy $4mil!

    • td says:

      CC isnt their best player. CC would be great to keep, but losing him but kill the franchise. They made it to the WS in 2008, and CC was below league average offensively.

      • Dirtbag Fan says:

        CC isn’t even one of the top 3 position players on the squad… and no matter what- the Rays can’t afford him. Keeping him would be mortgaging the future…. there’s a mile between CC’s history and the Rays’ future.

  2. Gus says:

    I’d say he’s worth more than Gabe Kapler although the Cubans who have come over are by no means a sure bet. But as a RF and 1B, he’s interesting. Don — you have 9 times as many complaints with Pat the Bat’s contract. That is the contract that is “forcing” Crawford out because they could have front-loaded CC last year with a 4 year $40M contract that might have kept him.

    I wonder if Pena’s hand is okay. He’s been hitless in the spring and you never know, but when the tight-fisted Rays start moving money (even in realtively small numbers) on two consecutive days, you have to wonder.

    • td says:

      CC will be getting $15-18 million per year for 5-6 years. The Rays had no realistic way of retaining him….

      • Justin H says:

        And to be honest it makes no sense to sign him, yeah he’s a great player, but with Jennings MLB ready finically it isn’t worth the money for the Rays at least.

        • Beth says:

          Yeah, but read the post below — Jennings is very injury prone. We tend to talk about Jennings as a sure bet as a top performing major league performer, but you never know…..

          • td says:

            Joyce and Zobrist both play the corners well. You are correct DJ is no sure thing, but the Rays have options for LF…. and they wont cost $15 million per year.

        • Mark01 says:

          Exactly Justin. CC might be worth $18mil a year to the Yankees, but he isn’t to the Rays. Even if we did have that money I think the team would be better off spending it to improve other areas.

          • Gus says:

            My point on CC’s contract is whether, coming off of 2008 (he popped something in his hand, so his numbers were a little low but he was great in the playoffs), instead of dumping $16M in Burrell’s lap, you rewarded CC with a 4 year deal (you already had 2 seasons under club control. so you end up with something like 4 years, $40M). That ends up “only” about $6M more than they’ll have spent on Burrell $16M and CC $18M for the 4 seasons (2009 and 2010). CC might have bitten on that in the fall of 2008. We’ll never know, of course, but the point is that Burrell money was so wildly spent, with no consideration on the long-term detriment to Pena/CC and our starting pitching retention, that it is sad.

            Homegrowns first. Aging muscle-bound sluggers with no defense, second.

  3. Dirtbag Fan says:

    This move baffles me, but the braintrust has earned my trust. I do have to admit that a few of these signings are starting to become head-scratchers…

  4. Dustin says:

    this seems to me a very low-risk move. it’s under a million per year (if i read it correctly), and gives the rays more (cheap) possibilities at positions where they likely have needs in the near future (of–especially lf–and 1b). this may be important for the team, and if anderson does anything at all, the rays might be able to trade him if they don’t need him. seems smart to me…

    • Dirtbag Fan says:

      you may be right, but I see a whole lot of negative reviews from scouts and basically no positive remarks… then again, Pena was basically written-off not too long ago as well.

      • Don says:

        Hey Dirtbag could you please name those 3 “position” players you think are better than CC..and Please don’t put Pena and his .220 batting avg in…and don’t put Zo in ….If I remember right…. YOU were one of those “Zo is a utility player” this time last year..
        Gee you don’t have much left…Bartlett/Longo…but they don’t run (steal) like CC…..I’m tired of thinking help me with 3…please????

        • td says:

          Evan Longoria is certainly better. CC had a career year last season, and Zobrist significantly outperformed him. I would say CC is around #3, but has competition from Pena and Bartlett for that position. Bartlett was only .5 wins worse according to WAR last season. In the past 3 seasons, Pena has been 2 wins better then CC.

          • Don says:

            Your arguments on “who are the best 3 players on the Rays” suddenly falls apart when you try to include Pena. A first base man that hits .220
            only has 100 hits and strikes out 200 times (projected for full season)
            is NOT one of the best players on the Rays…any of the young kids trying to make the team now could do better than that…
            I’ll bet you IF CC is not here next year..I don’t care who plays LF they will not replace CC production/defense…that includes Jennings….Book it!
            Thats what I call “irreplaceable”…….PAY HIM!

  5. td says:

    Well, Don, if you say it falls apart, it must be accurate. You list batting average like it is th most important stat. The past 3 seasons, Pena’s wOBA(a far superior offensive stat that includes stolen bases which helps CC) have been .430, .374, and .374. That stat encompasses everthing offensive- power, hitting, speed, etc. CC’s wOBA that past 3 seasons have been .365, .319, and .367. That isnt even close.

    CC is superior defensively and plays a more important position. I will use WAR, because it is one of the best stats available that combines a players overall game. CC the past 3 season- 5.5, 2.7, and 3.1. Pena’s past 3 seasons- 2.7, 3.7, and 6.2.

    But yeah, you’re right…. Pena isnt even close;)

    • Don says:

      After you have dazzeled me (everyone) with your handy dandy stupid ass figures ….
      Let me ask you two questions:
      1) Do you ever (often) watch Rays baseball games?
      2) Do you feel after watching a game(s) Pena contributed to the “game”….. the same or more than CC?
      My guess of your answers are: 1) No not really
      2) Well I don’t know
      Go figure??

  6. Don says:

    At least YOU have selected the correct NAME….
    Go back to ZZZZZZZZZZZZ……
    TO td…it looks like I’m not going to get thruough to you knowing the difference in “value/contribution” of a player and stats….
    Lets do/remember this….IF CC and Pena both go on the free agency market…. or even if they are signed by other teams….
    Lets see who gets the most money in their new contract!
    That way….. other teams/gen. managers/scouts will be telling YOU who is the most valuable player as recognized by other teams…Good Luck!

    • td says:

      That has nothing to do with it you idiot. CC is in his prime years, and certainly will get more.

      • Don says:

        OH..I didn’t understand…now your telling me a player past his prime (Pena) is more valuable….a better player than CC…because your figures tell you so……
        Now I got it….you “baseball genius”!

        • td says:

          Listen, it’s clear you are worthless and debating you is like talking to a child. I played the game at a high level, so I understand the game. I also have integrated saber philosophies into my evaluation. Pena has been a superior offensive player the past seasons to CC. You dont want to account for Pena’s ability to walk(not make out) and you want to use batting average which accounts for singles and home runs as equal.

          CC is a great player. He is a completely different player from Pena. Pena is a power hitting batter that gets on base via walks, doubles, and home runs. CC derives his value from speed and a solid batting average. They both are good defensively, with CC being much more valuable because he plays a corner spot.

          When all is accounted for, Pena has been more valuable the past 3 seasons. CC will be more valuable over the next 5-6 year stretch because of his age. But it doesnt make sense to pay someone $15 million per year when you can have a player at league minimum performing 90% of what CC can do. That money can be allocated elsewhere.

          I know I used some big words. Look them up. Use some analytical skills, and try not to appear to be a buffoon…which may be difficult.

  7. Don says:

    td: the biggest word you used was buffoon…but that explains a lot more about your backgound than whether you played little league!
    This is like David vs Goliath of baseball knowledge (sense)…but I have to give you credit for keep trying!

Leave a Comment