If you have been hanging around these parts for a while, you know that the model for this site is to tell you what the Rays have done, what they are doing and try to project what they will do based on what we have learned. Think of RI as “Tampa Bay Rays 101.”

However, for the next 12 days we will step away from the standard, and we present to you 12 “presents” the Tampa Bay Rays should give to their fans. Looking back at last year’s 12 Days of Raysmas, we see that many of our wishes came true (including that sweet no-hitter), and the result was another division title.

Without further ado…

On the twelfth day of Raysmas, the Tampa Bay Rays gave to us, TWELVE million dollars added to the payroll…

Stuart Sternberg said the 2011 payroll would be below $60 million. The exact amount obviously depends on the free agency market, how things unfold and who is available.

At this point, the Rays are committed to about $38.1 million for the 2011 season. That seems to leave plenty of room for the $5 million hitter we asked for on Day 1 (Jim Thome or Johnny Damon), and a $7 million closer named Rafael Soriano. Yeah, that would be nice. Or maybe Thome or Damon and another right-handed bat.

And that would still only leave the payroll in the neighborhood of $50 million. And that team might actually be good enough to compete.



  1. Mike says:

    Great thought! Tell Stu....

  2. Sledge says:

    I doubt MFIKY accepts a 1-year, $7M after seeing Beniot get a 3 year deal. Would Stu and World B. go 2 years, $15m? No income tax in FL means that's worth more than a lot of markets at $9M a year. If we got the production you are hoping for from Damon or Thome and had MFIKY, I think it totally changes the outlook.

  3. Greg says:

    I've been thinking the same thing...if the Rays are considering a $60M payroll then we should be able to add add Thome ($7M) and Soriano ($12M) on 1 year contracts or Thome on a 1 year deal and Balfour on a 2-year deal.

  4. phil says:

    should be easy: Damon or thome for $6/7 and Balfour for $4M = $10/11M to 38.1 = $48.1M or $49.1M

  5. Derek says:

    Damon isnt worth 7 mill. He isnt good enough for the Al east anymore. He would hit like 5 Hrs and bat .250. Thome, yeah, but we lost the one guy from the left side that can hit for average. Id like to get someone in there that can replace that production, rather than Pena's Hr production. I dont see a lefty in there now that could hit over .260 in a full year.

    • phil says:

      ok he is worth $4M ... any one else you suggest as an FA?

      how about Matt Joyce and Reid Brignac....who can hit .260 batting lefthanded?

      • Derek says:

        If either hits .260 Ill be impressed. Plus I said over .260. I just dont see how either will ever have average offensive skills. Sure Joyce has a big bat, but if he doesnt get his high pitch, he cant even touch it. Reid, well he just swings at anything. We have the power. I think we will miss crawfords ability to get a single, more than anything else.

  6. Quick contact Boras....we can keep MFIKY!


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