In his ESPN Insider piece, Buster Olney is hearing that other teams may be hesitant to deal with the Rays in the future because they seem to know exactly when to dump players…

Matt Garza got hit hard again, and he vows to make changes. Already hearing from other teams that they now warily approach trades with the Rays, who are viewed as a savvy organization and appear to have dumped Scott Kazmir at exactly the right time.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise. If you continually get the better end of trades, other teams are going to proceed with caution. Billy Beane and the A’s had this reputation for a while.

But it shouldn’t keep the Rays from making deals. For every Scott Kazmir they have dealt, there is also an Edwin Jackson and a Jason Hammel, two productive pitchers.

Did the Rays know Kazmir was done? Maybe. The Rays certainly don’t want a reputation as a team that dumps damaged goods on other teams. And in the case of Kazmir, the signs were there and the Angels probably should have seen them.

In the end, most of the players traded by the Rays were getting expensive (e.g. Matt Garza) or were no longer needed (e.g. Hammel). And if another GM is smart, they recognize this.



  1. Charles says:

    You’d think that it’s the responsibility of both teams in a deal to do their homework and figure out if the deal works for them. But this is the Cubs and Angels we’re talking about, the team that signed Alfonso Soriano to a big contract knowing he’s basically immobile and swings at everything (aka the prototype quick decline guy) and the team that took all of Vernon Wells’s contract AND gave up something for it. Not exactly the bastions of wise decision making (no offense, CubsFan!)

    • Sarah says:

      no kidding! I find this astounding. Don’t these other teams scout players before they get them in a trade? I knew that Scott Kazmir was a huge risk for the Angels, and I’m just a casual fan. And as for Garza — we’ve all watched him and his inconsistency over the years. Did the Cubs think they were just getting the guy who pitched a no-hitter, and somehow the guy who once gave up a gazillion home runs in one game was staying back in St. Pete? What a bunch of whiners.

      If the Rays were intentionally failing to disclose injuries other GMs would have something to complain about, but if they simply are good at figuring out when a player is no longer worth his salary, well, that’s what the front office gets paid to do.

    • Scot says:

      Well said.

  2. Tone says:

    This is the worst Rays(even Devil) line-up EVER! None of them can hit. No one understands clutch. It is going to get so bad and the only help in AAA is Jennings and Carter. When will a starter get a win? My guess would be when Longoria gets back. This might be the worst line-up I have ever seen in MLB, but I have not seen many Pirates or Nationals games. My anger makes me believe in the conspiracy theory that says Stu did this on purpose in order to get out of St. Petersburg(maybe FL altogether). He did announce it well over a year ago that he was not going to sign anyone. Could he be making the last ditch effort of trying to make the fans blame Mr. Mayor or letting the attendance tank so low he gets out of the contract? I hate that guy right now. Anyone that posts here and blames fans can go f*ck themselves ahead of time. Thanks.

    • Jordi says:

      i don’t understand clutch. Please explain.

      So you really think Stu Sternberg is the male version of Rachel Phelps, owner of the Indians in Major League?

      • Andy says:

        Last year there were times you watched and felt we werent scoring runs in key situations. This year we just aren’t scoring. Period. Its not the clutch that needs work, its the engine that needs to be rebuilt.

        • Scot says:

          And when the batter’s luck improve, the feeling of “clutch”, of being able to score runs, will return.

          • Andy says:

            I think its bad luck AND bad pitch selection by the batters. Its a double whammy. I think you misread what I wrote. I’m not a believer in clutchiness, but can understand why people may have thought the Rays lacked this in years past (while not agreeing).

            But what we are lacking this year is talent. Hopefully reversion of luck takes us from horrible to average, but I don’t see the room for improvement beyond that.

    • StPeteDave says:

      Stu is a NY sewer rat that wants out of FL, but to say this is the worst Rays lineup ever is a stretch. It can get much worse.

  3. MJ says:

    Anyone who watched the Rays on a daily basis knew Kaz was done.

  4. Alex says:

    The Angels GM is just an idiot. I think that’s been well documented with his trades for Kazmir and Vernon Wells.

  5. Amanda says:

    Maybe Buster Olney is tired of being routinely embarrased, not by the Rays, but by his own sloppy reporting. He’s one of the endless stream of ESPN writers and columnists who never seem to have any clue of what is really going on with the Rays or in the Tampa Bay market in general. They just play to their fan base — mainly the New York and Boston media markets. I’d be interested to see how many times he reported a trade by the Rays was going to end in doom and gloom for the franchise.

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