While the Yankees ended up signing Rafael Soriano, Brian Cashman first had his eyes set on Grant Balfour. But Cashman made it clear in the aftermath of signing Soriano, that he didn’t want to give up the Yankees first round pick. And as a Type A free agent, Balfour would have cost the Yankees their top pick.
To get round this, Cashman was working on a sign-and-trade with the Diamondbacks. Arizona would sign Balfour, and then trade him to the Yankees. Since the D-Backs have the no. 3 pick overall, their first round pick is protected. If the Yankees had signed Balfour, the Rays would have received the no. 31 pick (which they ultimately picked up anyway). But by going through the Diamondbacks, the Rays compensation would have been the no. 63 pick.
Balfour eventually signed with the A’s and the Rays received their second round pick, no. 75 overall.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- We’ve updated the Cork-Board (located on the right side of the screen). The Rays roster now reflects all 60 players that are in big league camp to start Spring Training. [Cork-Board]
- The Rays have signed relief pitcher Chris Bootcheck to a minor league deal and an invite to Spring Training. Bootcheck had a strong 2009 season in triple-A, but spent the 2010 season in Japan. He was drafted by the Rays in 1997, but turned them down to attend college. [TampaBay.com]
- Rays Prospects has the complete radio and TV schedule for the Rays Spring Training games. [Rays Prospects]
- Justin Ruggiano and Leslie Anderson cleared waivers and will remain in the Rays organization. Both players have been assigned to triple-A Durham. [The Heater]
- Marc Topkin tackles some of the biggest questions heading into spring training. [TampaBay.com]
- Gordon Edes says Bobby Jenks turned down a chance to close for other teams by signing with the Red Sox (including possibly the Rays). When asked why, he said “It’s the Red Sox.” (thanks Joe) [ESPN Boston]
- Johnny Damon teamed up with Derek Lowe to compete against David Wright and Donald Trump — Yes, Donald Trump — in a round of golf for an upcoming episode of Trump’s show on The Golf Channel. [Palm Beach Post]
- David Price will be one of the featured speakers at a national summit to be held at HCC. [Hawkeye News]