According to Ken Rosenthal, Carlos Beltran has narrowed his choices down to the Cardinals, Indians, and Blue Jays. That means the Rays are out. Then again, we never really thought the Rays were in. [via @Ken_Rosenthal]

[Update] Beltran signed a 2-year, $26 million deal with the Cardinals. As is the case with most of these negotiations. The Rays may have something the player wants — in this case, Beltran wanted to be closer to his Puerto Rican home — but that only matters if the money is comparable and the player is looking for a reason to pick one over the other.



  1. LoLJFH says:

    What else is new? As I said in another post, the $8mil probably scared them and they had Pat the Bat flashbacks. Besides he is 34 and FAR too young for us to consider him as a DH! Abreu is 38 and is probably the perfect answer for management. Think “value” and “upside”.

  2. RedBull says:

    Oh well. Sounds like we’re in on a trade for Andrew Bailey now! That’s good news! Beltran would’ve been nice, but expensive. My guess is we’ll be making a trade here soon for a couple bats, and possibly re-sign Damon. Not the end of the world I guess.

    • Joe says:

      Rumors are evil. This rumor about us going after Bailey makes me think we wont get him. I do see us resigning Damon and hopefully trading for Rizzo.

  3. LOLJFH says:

    Maybe it’s a good thing afterall, he might’ve pouted like another high priced signing we had recently:
    •The Rays fell out of the race for Carlos Beltran due to Beltran’s concerns about playing on turf and spending too much time as a designated hitter, tweets Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times.

  4. Joe says:

    How about this? It’s simply the price of doing business in the Majors these days. It is what it is. Can’t be afraid of it or talk bad about the guy after the fact.

    That’s why I despise the Topkins of the world because he to knows what the price of doing business is, and the Rays 95% of the time NEVER want to do business there.

  5. Joe says:

    Go after Rizzo or Fielder and call it an offseason.

    Heard Friedman on Power Alley this morning on XM and just filled with cliches as usualy. Face it, the Rays have the goods to get this guy, so why not trade for him? You AFRAID to part with a prospect along with Davis to make it happen?

    For ANYONE who thinks Niemann is worth a great deal out there, remember the Jason Hammel trade to Colorado a couple of years ago. Davis is where the value is, middle of the rotation and perhaps a 2 in San Diego. Just sick of the cliches, Andrew.

    • Tom says:

      Friedman is not AFRAID to make a trade, I am pretty sure he does not want to overpay for a player and wants to get the best deal possible.

      • Joe says:

        He is afraid to LOSE or get pollaxed in a deal or have his perception hurt, so I don’t know. Again, we don’t hear our media talking so we don’t know fact from fiction.

        • Tom says:

          I think it is a good thing he does not want to LOSE or get Pollaxed in a deal don’t you?

        • pete says:

          Loose lips sink ships Joe. I don’t care who the beat writers for the Rays are. They would have no clue what the front office is thinking. Guaranteed contracts in Baseball sir. If you screw up , it destroys any flexibility the team has. In Football if you screw up with a contract , you cut the player and move on.

          Joe we get it , You hate the ownership group and the beat writers in the area. You must be a Yankee fan or Vince Namoli’s son. Did you not watch the first 9 years of Devil Rays Baseball? This front office kicks ass and anyone who doesn’t think so is a complete moron when it comes to this game.

          When we win the Division is 2012 is it going to be enough for you? I doubt it. Putting a playoff caliber team on the field is all anyone can ask for because once in the playoffs its anyone’s ball game.

          • Joe says:

            So you subscribe to the Billy Beane theory Pete? And his great theory and movie of Moneyball?

            I will cut it in layman’s terms that ANYONE can understand. Stu, Matt and Andrew have a great process. The process works. I can’t deny that it doesn’t because with a concerted effort on pitching, defense and timely hitting (even if it is asleep more often than not), you get where the Rays are at. I do not want to be accused of not being fair, because I pride myself in being that. It’s the END RESULT that I am arguing with. Even Sternberg himself is gets caught up in the minutiae of it. If you have a chance to make a great season, one for the ages, YOU GRAB THE BRASS RING. Sternberg looks at opportunity cost, and he is someone who would blame me or you Pete for what he LACKS rather than close the deal and APPRECIATES what he does HAVE.

            In 15 freaking years here, we have stumbled and never solved the 1B position. NEVER. Pena was the closest thing to a solution but the Rays lucked into him by fortune, not by wisdom like how its viewed upon AFTER the fact. I remember the freaking days of Albie Lopez and Toby Hall and Vinny Castilla, so don’t tell me what I don’t remember, because I do remember it. What I want form Sternberg is a hybrid of process and results driven methodology that where Stu, Andrew and Matt all step outside their boundaries and realize that someone like a Prince Fielder is a valuable commodity to them. You put up 6 runs a night with the starting pitching the Rays are going to throw on a nightly basis, you are probably going to win 100 games or thereabouts.

            That is why I am back on the Rizzo beat. If they get Trumbo, fine, if they get Alonzo, fine, if they Fielder, GREAT, but the point is why settle on year to year alternatives? Is it about being cheap and trying to outsmart everyone? I say who cares if you want to be smart? Sometimes you just don’t care. And that is why I am “upset” that fans like YOU Pete and Rob are forsaken by an owner with a peculiar and bizarre attitude to his patrons. The Rays never have had “buzz” until it was time to go into the postseason? Why not start it NOW? This is why season ticket sales are down, and Stu LAUGHS at us. Don’t get it.

          • pete says:

            Okay Joe , I’ll play along. I’ve said in the past that i do understand your argument. Here is the deal though. Until we get a new Television deal which currently expires in 2016 (our TV ratings here are very respectable) or the City of Saint Petersburg starts supporting this PLAYOFF team then NO we are not going to take any stabs at potential dinosaur contracts or trade the commodities that have allowed us to compete with the Yankees and Red Sox with 1/5th the payroll.

            I’ve never read Moneyball or seen the movie but Andrew Friedman makes Billy Beane look like a retarded 5th grader. Do we need a first baseman? YES but are we going to overpay for one? Not a chance. I’d love Prince to be the Rays 1b for the next ten years but until 34,000 Rays fans pack the Trop 81 nights a year then it’s just not going to happen.

            We don’t have the luxury of making a Billion dollars a year like our competition and in the end Baseball is a business. So when we make a mistake (like offering Beltran 3 years 35 million) and his knees blow out and plays 120 games over 3 years , then we can’t just say SREW IT and write it off.

            The books are never going to be open to the public , so get over that and that’s an MLB thing. So until the fans come out for this PLAYOFF team or we get a stadium not stuck in the middle of downtown nowhere , then your bitching is pointless. You want a World Series Ring? yeah well so do 30 other teams and many teams with fans that actually come out have waited decades longer to get one than us.

            I drive 90 minutes each way and get to 60 games a year since DAY 1 and talking playoffs every year since that magical run of 2008 every year since is ALL YOU CAN ASK FOR. Everyone thought the Phillies were the team to beat last year , How far did they make it? Yeah , as far as the Rays.

            WINNING THE WORLD SERIES IS A CRAP SHOOT. Gotta get to the dance and then the odds are even.

          • Joe says:

            And Pete, that is where the MONEY is, its in TELEVISION. Not in the seats being filled, although it would be nice. It’s television.

            The best of organizations are going to mess up in free agency. Heck the Rays did it with Pat Burrell. It’s going to happen. I say CELEBRATE it, don’t hark on it. It’s simply the price of doing STANDARD business. Why does ownership and management look at their fans and this market as if it is a deprieved situation?

            If we had a PROPER television deal, not necessarily the fans in the seats, but the right deal NOW, we could have Prince Fielder. Heck, one could argue we could get him NOW and STILL be comfortable.

            Look at the stuff today with BN9/St. Pete Times poll on the stadium. Once again, we got the goods to solve 1B for the next 6-7 years, let’s solve it.

            It’s PERCEPTION, Pete. That is the basis of my complaint. And Pete, you buy it where I don’t. I have a better view, a more half fuller view about Tampa Bay than perhaps you may, and I apologize to you if you do feel the way I do. I can show you where there is just so much more than just filling up the seats making a great fanbase.

          • pete says:

            The entire fanbase isn’t the problem. We have a huge fanbase. I see Rays gear EVERYWHERE. the TV ratings are strong and people are watching , but we signed a TV deal when the Ratings were putrid and we are paying for it right now. I like the Trop and have no problem with it , but it’s not like other major league citys. We have ZERO public transportation and there are more Yankee fans in Tampa Bay then Rays fans , since the Yankees have been training here since way before my parents were born.

            Selling out nightly is a huge deal and if signing Prince guaranteed the Trop sold out nightly then i’m sure we’d sign him but in my opinion we would still get 21k on average in the trop. The team needs to move to Tampa over by the fairgrounds and it would open markets up that just aren’t coming to Saint Petersburg. I live south so the Trop isn’t a pain in the ass for me to get to but people in North Tampa , Palm Harbor , Oldsmar , Lakeland , Etc. Just are not making the trip because its a complete royal pain in the ass. Plus tourists don’t go to the Trop as a “thing to do” as they do in Chicago , New York and Boston.

            If we get a new Stadium i’d bet dollars to donuts that Stu opens his wallet.

          • Joe says:

            And I am of the belief that attendance in today’s virtual age isn’t as reliable of a harbinger of fan support or interest level in the product. Read Noah Pransky and the subtlties and nuances of marketing the club, the stadium and experience and presentation. I am shocked at how many people miss this in their support of “attendance = payroll” argument.

            All I want is for Pinellas County and the city of St. Petersburg to be RIGHTFULLY and FAIRLY compensated and Stu can do whatever he wants. It’s a shame MLB and their partners continually blast our market and put fans in a negative light.

            There will be NO STADIUM for at least another 10 years. It will take new faces in this process to move it forward.

  6. Dave L says:

    My favorite part of this mini- mini saga was the ‘closer to home’ factor. Thats the second most phony fexcuse in a career change after ‘wanting to spend more time with my family’ nonsense is trotted out. Jet planes having been popularized oh say 5 decades ago

    When all the real players are finished with the hot stove season. When all the other teams have gobbled up their prize ingrediants for the 2012 souffle, their will be some left over pieces we will acquire by virtue of their not having a fit anywhere or having been replaced by an upgrade and made expaendable by not being desired by the other 6 to 8 teams with need at those positions. Thus we will find our First Baseman, SS, first and 3rd catchers, some relievers. Or its back to Kotchman and S Rod and some catcher from hell

  7. RedBull says:

    I agree Sarah. They’re paying for the player he used to be. At $8-10 million, it made sense. At $13 million, I think it’s a little ridiculous. We’re better off using the money elsewhere. I still think Kendrys Morales would be worth the gamble, and we might be able to bring in Hank Conger in the same deal. That’d give us a solid young catcher, and potentially an elite first baseman. It’s a relatively cheap deal as well. Maybe Davis and Colome could make it happen.

  8. LoLJFH says:

    From San Diego Union:
    Casey Kotchman quietly had a good year at 1B for Tampa Bay, but they would like to see some more power from the corner position. He hit .306, but only slugged .422. The Rays have some pieces in Hak-Ju Lee, Chris Archer or maybe Alex Colome that could help bring in Rizzo via trade, so they should make a play for the big man. He would give them an immediate upgrade in the middle of a lineup that was just eighth in the AL in slugging percentage last year.

    I don’t know about you, but I would DEFINITELY give up 2 of these guys for him – and Davis wasn’t even mentioned. Throw in Davis and get Bartlett as well. If so, give them Beckham instead of Lee since he could be ready mid-season for a callup and I believe he has fallen from favor here.

    • ttnorm says:

      I agree and also am more pessimistic than most on Kotchman and would prefer to use him as a fall back option (if his price falls and we can’t get the guy we want).

      I disagree and would be surprised if Lee or Archer are available (especially Lee). Both are close and fill a definite need on the team over the next 6-7 years. Not sure we match up well with SD. If Niemann or Davis doesn’t get us most of the way to Rizzo, then it probably won’t happen.

  9. Drew says:

    Are we really going to go into this season with Guyer or Damon as our DH? If the FO really think we can win it this year (which I think they might, as they aren’t going to trade away Shields, Price, or Upton), and they don’t want to give up anybody in a trade for a DH, why not think about signing guys like Andruw Jones or Luke Scott? Neither would cost any draft picks.

    • LoLJFH says:

      Luke Scott might be an option but he is hurt too often. In Jones we have enough .219 hitters! AJ is WAY past his prime. No thanks.

    • Tom says:

      How much of an upgrade to Luke Scott and Andruw Jones provide over Damon/Guyer? Jones has not had more than 300 AB’s in a season since 2007 and Scott hit .220 last year. They are 34 and 35 years old (younger than Damon true, but Damon appears to be in better shape) I do not see much upside to either one.

    • Drew says:

      Clearly they are both a risk, with Scott being the greater one due to shoulder surgery, but both can hit better than Damon, Jones in particular. Dude has hit .228 over the past 3 seasons but has also put up an OPS of .816. Ben Zobrist’s OPS over that same time is .820. Johnny Damon’s is .784. Not seeing how there’s no upside there. Plus he’s still miles better defensively than Damon…you know how Maddon likes to have flexibility. Not to mention, we could probably sign either for as much as or less than it would take to resign Damon.

      • Tom says:

        You are right. Jones has bounced back much better the past couple of years than I thought after that ugly 2008 season. Still he only had 64 AB’s against righties last season, he and Damon or Scott could make a nice platoon.

  10. RedBull says:

    Why not see about trying to get Houston to pay most of Carlos Lee’s salary? He’s a run producer, has experience as a DH, and wouldn’t cost much in prospects. He got pitched around a lot the last couple of years, and maybe a spot on a contender would rejuvenate him even more. Just a thought…I prefer other guys, of course. But it’s just another option.

  11. Joe says:

    Does everyone think Lee is the real deal or his ceiling just really high right now? It’s a risk, every trade is a risk but I have some doubts about Lee and he could be a huge trade chip. If the Padres want a SS so bad then Lee for Rizzo and say Gregerson wouldn’t bother me too much. Then we trade Davis for Morales or Trumbo and put him at DH. Thoughts?

    Check it: Farnsworth, Peralta, Gregerson, McGee, Gomes, Badenhop, Howell
    Rotation: Price – Shields – Hellickson – Moore – Neimann
    Incase of injury(looking at you Neimann…be less ugly dude): Alex Cobb, Alex Torres and at some point, probably Chris Archer can make a few starts.
    The Lineup: Jennings LF Upton CF Longoria 3B Morales DH Zobrist 2B Joyce RF Rizzo 1B Rodriguez SS Molina C

  12. RedBull says:

    The say Double-A is where you find out if a prospect is legit or not. Lee ended the year there, and struggled quite a bit. Whereas Beckham excelled, and got moved up to Durham. Remember, Brignac tore up A ball and never looked like that again. I’ve got a feeling Beckham proves to everyone that he shouldn’t have been forgotten about. You never know, the kid could just come up big and win us a World Series this year…kinda like that Jeter fellow!

    • Rob says:

      Sample size for Lee is too small and Beckham did not “excel” in my eyes. He was solid. What Brignac or Jeter did or didn’t do makes no difference to Beckham or Lee. They’re their own player. Bottom line is Lee for Rizzo makes little sense for Tampa, as Lee is a better prospect, SS is more valuable than 1B and trading away position prospects, in general, is tough for the Rays system right now.

  13. RedBull says:

    I don’t know how anyone affords a 180-minute roundtrip 60 times a year, so my hat goes off to you there. I would have to make the same roundtrip from Dade City, and I only make the trip a handful of times each year. But I also agree that the Trop isn’t an awful place. The problem is around the park. Besides Ferg’s being an awesome sports bar, there’s nothing else around it to do! I think the optimal place is the fairgrounds, just like Pete said. There’s the casino across the street, and Channelside isn’t too far either. It would help draw from the central part of the state and the counties like Sarasota and Manatee wouldn’t add too much to their drive. And I also agree that if the team gets a new stadium, Stu would absolutely open up the check book.
    The one thing I do disagree with is that if we were to sign Fielder that he would not add to attendance. I think he absolutely would. It might not sell out every night, but it’d be much closer. My guess is we’d have around 30k per night there by the end of the year. The problem is Stu won’t sign him because of the Trop. Stu wants a new stadium, and the only way he can get one now is to continue to fall short in attendance. Really, when you think about it right now, he’s got everything going for him right now to get a stadium in Tampa. The mayor of St. Pete doesn’t want to get a new stadium, we have awful attendance for a playoff team, and the mayor of Tampa absolutely wants the team in his city. I think it moves to Tampa by 2016…just in time for the new TV deal!

    • Sarah says:

      I don’t want to jump into a stadium location debate, but I do want to challenge your view that there’s nothing around the Trop. If you mean nothing in easy walking distance you are right, but that would be true at the Fairgrounds, too.

      But the Trop is just a mile or two beyond downtown St. Pete which has some of the best restaurants and night spots in the entire region. And the the Downtown St. Pete organization runs a shuttle from downtown to the stadium, so you don’t even need to move your car if you want to catch dinner before a game or hang out afterwards.

      From a regional planning perspective, the fringe of downtown St. Pete was a terrible place to build a stadium, but let’s not overstate its isolation — it’s very close to some wonderful entertainment amenities.

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