Scott Boras is forcing the Rays hand, stating that Hank Blalock will ask for his release within the next week if the Rays do not promote him to the big leagues…

Agent Scott Boras indicated Tuesday that Blalock would activate the out clause in his Triple-A contract within the next week, forcing the Rays to either promote him to the big-league team or allow him to become a free agent and sign elsewhere.

“I would imagine that we’ll probably know something about Hank in the next seven days,’’ Boras said at Angel Stadium. “The time has come. The time has come. He’s playing third base, obviously he’s hitting well, he’s a young guy…The thought many teams had about players have come to fruition as we expected in the first five-six weeks. I think a lot of people understand Hank’s a better choice for them, so we’ll see. Obviously the first hurdle is that Tampa Bay has to make their decision.’’

Marc Topkin speculates that the Mariners could be interested in Blalock. Of course, the Rays could decide to finally release Pat Burrell now that he has essentially been benched by Joe Maddon.

 
 

56 Comments

  1. Don says:

    Sounds like it could get down to personality conflicts….Boras is no agent to mess with… and AF and Co. might not like too many of his demands….
    But Blalock certainly belongs here… we can use his bat instead of Burrell and Pena…..Help!!!

    • Brian H says:

      don, looking like there could be an outright release of burrell. you will sit down for supper and eat those words.

      • Don says:

        You better be sure about that “outright”….
        Look at the money the Rays are burning on Burrell and Pena!
        They could pay CC $20mil if they could just got rid of those two bums!

        • Brian H says:

          will you admit your wrong if they cut him, or are you one of these guys that will fine the smallest loop hole, just so to admitadmit they are wrong. to remind you you said the words “the rays will NEVER release burrell”

  2. Joe D. says:

    Prof, any inclinations? rodzilla down? Burrell cut, traded (any value on trade market?)? Rays walk away from Blalock, get anything for him?

    • Cork Gaines says:

      Not their first choice I’m sure, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Rodriguez is sent down just to give the Rays a little more time to make a decision or let somebody get hurt. Of course they would have to cut somebody anyway to make room for Blalock on the 40-man. Ekstrom would be a candidate there.

      But if cutting Burrell is the ultimate decision they may do that sooner rather than later. Better to cut Burrell now than cut Ekstrom now AND cut Burrell later.

      • Thad says:

        With the starters going so deep, why not send Cormier down in the interim? Or cut him for all I care. The bullpen is underworked as it is. They could survive a week or two with a man short. Rather than letting Boras completely force the timeline.

        • Alex says:

          I think they’ll cut Cormier or say he has a an injury when JP comes back

          • Deadeye says:

            Sonny has options and Corms can get lefties and righties out and Joe likes him.

          • Alex says:

            Really? Maybe last year. All I’ve seen this year from Cormier is hit, hit, hit, hit, hit, walk, walk, hit

          • Thad says:

            Cormier has given up 9 hits and 3 BB in last 3.1 IP. That’s not getting it done. He let two close games get away and poured kerosene on the turmoil in the 8th last night.

  3. Joe D. says:

    Pena bum? Gold glover, 100+ rbi’s slow start = bum….

  4. Joe D. says:

    Any chance Burrell would accept an assignment to durham? Cant imagine there are too many 25 man roster jobs for Burrell…

  5. Rumpy says:

    Over/Under on how many people will pee their pants with joy when Pat Burrelll gets released?

    or better yet: Over/Under on how many people will be upset? Three?

  6. Mark says:

    No way you can justify keeping Burrell over Blalock.

    I could see them sending SRod down for awhile, but they can not get rid of Blalock and keep Burrell. It makes no sense

  7. Alex says:

    JUST CUT BURRELL. For the love of god. Stop wasting our time Freidman. I don’t care how much you spent on him. He sucks.

    No reason to send Rod down now, he’s finally hitting and he actually plays a position. What does Burrell bring to the table? Apparently he can’t hit lefties. He doesn’t play a position. He gets hurt weekly doing who knows what

    • Beth says:

      A week ago I would have said, send down S-Rod — it wasn’t just that he was hitting poorly; he was looking completely overwhelmed at the plate. But he’s starting to have better at bats, and he’s actually looked pretty smooth on defense. So I’d have to agree with the “dump Burrell” chorus – Maddon has clearly given up on him as a regular. He’ll cost us the remaining xxx million on his contract whatever happens — let’s not have him cost us a valuable roster spot as well.

      Question — if the Rays release him, and another team signs him, what are the Rays’ financial obligations? Would the new team need to pick up his contract, or are the Rays stuck paying him no matter where he ends up?

      • Brian H says:

        correct me if im wrong but i think the rays would save the league minimum, off 9mil they owe him.

      • Cork Gaines says:

        Before they actually release Burrell they’ll place him on waivers. If another team claimed him, that team takes the entire contract. But nobody would do that. So once he clears waivers, the Rays will release him and they are responsible for paying the rest of his ’10 salary. He then is free to sign with another team for whatever they want to pay him. But Rays still have to pay the original contract.

        So yes, for sucking, Burrell will actually get MORE money if he is released. Gotta love the player’s union.

        • Deadeye says:

          If someone were to claim him, they could then pull him back and then try and work out a deal with that team, correct?

          • Cork Gaines says:

            It get complicated, but no, this would be irrevocable waivers as opposed to revocable waivers which teams use in August. MLB has about 26 types of waivers that are impossible to keep track of.

        • Brian H says:

          although, not many teams are looking for players who cant field well or hit well these days.

          • Beth says:

            Exactly. He’s not much use to an NL team since they don’t use a DH. And he doesn’t seem able to hit AL pitching. So where does that leave him?

  8. Rumpy says:

    Cork, correct me if I’m wrong here… Im not sure what the rules are for the 60-Day DL. If my calculations are correct, JP and Joyce would be eligible May 25th(ish) thus clearing a spot on the 40-man roster. I know this doesn’t solve the problem of who to clear off the 25-man but it is something to think about. Do you think Boras has realized that and is being a bag-o-douche and forcing the Rays hand a week early?

    • Cork Gaines says:

      I think he is trying to force the Rays to release Blalock.

      In a lot of ways, Boras and the Rays are the same in the way they always look for loopholes and advantages and they never doing anything that isn’t part of a bigger plan.

      In this case, why now? Why make go public?

      I’m sure it would be illegal to negotiate with another team but I’m sure Boras has a promise from at least one other team. Otherwise there would be no reason to play this card now. And there is a good chance that other team will guarantee Blalock more playing time than the Rays. So Blalock’s first choice might be to get released.

      And as you said, doing it now will cost the Rays a player so there is a better chance he is released now than if he made the demand two weeks from now.

      • Pipp says:

        I think that Boras is pushing this now because Blalock’s value has hit its peak. He can’t hit a whole lot better than he currently is (.366 BA, .959 OPS). That means that he’ll either stay the same, which doesn’t do him much good, or start to decline and lose value. Or he may get injured and lose all value.

        Like you said, Boras and the Rays FO are similar in that they like to maximize value. And you’re right, I’m sure that Boras has done some unofficial testing of the waters.

  9. Alex says:

    Actually knowing the Rays, Burrell will end up on the 15 day dl with another neck strain, and if what you say about the 60 day dl is correct they may put JP on there or just DFA Ekstrom.

    • Rumpy says:

      They wouldn’t need to DFA Ekstrom would they? He is already in AAA right??

      • Alex says:

        That’s how they would get him off the 40 man roster. Either that or release him.

        • Rumpy says:

          They wouldn’t have to. When you transfer a player on the 40-man from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL, you don’t have to release a player. Essentially you have 41 on the 40-man.

      • Cork Gaines says:

        He’s still on the major league 40man roster and they don’t have any room on the 40man to add Blalock who is not currently on the 40man. Before they can add Blalock to the Rays roster, they first need to add him to the 40man, so somebody would have to go.

        If Burrell is released that would open a spot on the 40man. But let’s say Burrell is just DL’d, he’d still be on the 40man.

        Since Ekstrom is in triple-A, and still on the 40man, he could be cut without having to cut any of the big leaguers.

  10. Mike says:

    I would really like to see Blalock up here and see what he can do. We all know the guy can hit and he can play 1st or 3rd if needed. I can’t stand Burrell but I don’t see them just cutting him. It would make me happy if they do but don’t see it.

  11. I know we’re all salivating at the idea of Blalock on the Rays, but what would it take in a trade to make the FO happy to part with him? The Rays are actually winning w/o Blalock right now. If they could somehow get a bidding war started, it might generate some good prospects….

    But, in reality, I’m thinking the Pat the Bat era may be over in Tampa… I just wonder if the Rays are going to figure out a way to let him save face. AKA Percy.

    • Alex says:

      Yes they are winning but the same thing can be said about Zobrist hitting third. Just because they are winning doesn’t mean its the right thing to do. If they trade Blalock they’ll end up with a nothing prospect just like the Adam Kennedy situation.

      Just because a team is the best team doesn’t mean they don’t have flaws. I think a lot of people forget that. This team does have flaws that can be shored up. Zobrist hitting fifth instead of third, Jaso starting, cutting Kapler and Burrell, starting Reid Brignac everyday etc…

      • “Nothing prospect?!?!” <<< How dare you insult Joe Dillionaire like that!!!

        I haven't forgot about the Rays flaws. But, I don't think adding Blalock changes those flaws in any way (unless you think he's going to push Pena out a slump). That's why I'm thinking trade. Another relief pitcher or some sort of right-handed bench utility type could be much more useful than Blalock at this point. Think 2 for 1 deal. That's all I was saying.

        • Beth says:

          You may be right that Blalock could yield more in a trade than he can add to the current line-up. But like Brian H below, I saw him fitting more into a DH platoon than as an alternative to Pena, who one hopes will remember how to hit one of these days, and in the meantime continues to be a solid presence at first.

          • I disagree. I think Pena’s defense makes him very valuable, even when he’s slumping. Blalock is more of a 3rd base type, so I don’t really see the value of starting some sort of DH/1b platoon for any other reason then to get Blalock on the roster. I may be mistaken, but I believe Blalock has played more at 3b in Durham. And as we’ve seen over and over again, that’s not the type of move *this* FO makes.

            I think the only way he comes to this team is as a DH to face righties. With that in mind, I think the Rays shop him….

  12. BTW, how nice is it that the Rays are so stacked that they just can’t bring people up and down willy nilly like other american league teams.

  13. Don says:

    “Rules are made to be broken (bent)…Blalock up NOW!

  14. Brian H says:

    Willy/ Blalock/Pena Rotation on Dh/1b is seem like not only an improvement, its seems very good. Pena obviousily getting most days at 1b, but he needs more routine time off I think.

  15. Joe D. says:

    DH is a problem for the Rays, we have a switch hitter that is starting against lefties, and a righty that starts against righties, and one of them can’t field.

    We have an option in Durham, why not use it, no sence in looking for some garbage (like another middle reliever) when that option (to upgrade DH) is a former major league all star under the age of 30 that’s raking down in the minors

  16. Chris says:

    At this point, I would just release Pat. If he were a great clubhouse guy or something special to the organization (say like Rocco), you find a spot for him. By all accounts however, he is an ass and did enough to get CC ready to kill him in the clubhouse last year. The fan base views him as the living and breathing persona of the failures of the 2009 Rays (right or wrong). It is probably best overall to let him walk, admit the mistake and move on.

    Having said that, people like AF – people who get to that level of success rarely like to admit mistakes, much less in the very public fashion like this would be.

    Any idea what kind of person Blaylock is? If we call him up does he get mad because he doesn’t get the at bats he would with whomever Boras is no doubt talking to?

  17. Chris says:

    To add:

    If the interested team in Blaylock (speculation) is the Mariners, then 100% for sure the Rays wait a week in making a decision. Why give them a DH or help their planning with them coming to the Trop for 3 games this weekend?

    Makes sense it would be the Mariners as their DH options are: Milton “one flew over the cuckoo’s nest” Bradley and Rip Van Griffey. Man, they need more help than we do.

    • Gus says:

      You are close — when the Mariners series is over, you send Burrell to the Mariners and eat 80% of his remaining contract — he can’t hurt you out there and he is worth a shot to the punchless M’s. Better than casting PB loose and him ending up in a place he could (in theory) come back and bite you. Then you’ve freed up the roster for Blaylock and the DH slot for whichever regular needs a semi-rest.

  18. Indiana Rays Boy says:

    Just call up Hank Blalock immediately and the Rays better stop with the mind games. Just cut Burrell and pay his remaining 9 million dollar salary; he will be gone whether they keep him for the rest of the season and let him walk during the offseason or just pull the plug on him ASAP. Hank provides depth at the DH/1B/3B spot. I don’t want this Blalock situation to turn out like the Adam Kennedy situation last year.

  19. leningan says:

    I was thinking, before Burrell cracked the lineup a few days ago, we would retroactively DL Pat and call up Blalock as a replacement. Naming him to one of the 2 40-man spots available, giving him the minimum and watching him play Burrell off of the team. That would be ideal. Willy/Blalock DH platoon, is far better than Willy and sometimes Burrell. this makes sense just from the standpoint of having a “big lefty bat” to come off the bench…

  20. LOL she looks better in the new ads than back in the day

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