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. Many did not. If we can get a couple of more this year, the Rays might just win it all.

Without further ado…

On the first day of Raysmas, the Tampa Bay Rays gave to us, ONE $8 million bat…

Last week we heard the Rays were one of a handful of teams that was considered a serious bidder for Carlos Beltran. OK, the Rays probably weren’t even in the same ballpark as the Cardinals, who eventually signed Beltran to a two-year, $26 million deal. But it does show the Rays were willing to write a sizable check for one big bat in the lineup.

This is just a guess, but the Ray offer must have been at least $8 million per season to be considered a serious bidder (unless of course Beltran’s people were inflating the Rays interest just to draw more money from the Cardinals. A definite possibility).

The problem is, after Beltran, there is not much left on the free agent market. Carlos Pena might be the best bat that is still available outside of Prince Fielder. So that’s one possibility. Otherwise, the only way the Rays are going to get an impact bat is by trading one of their starting pitchers.

At this point, the Rays projected payroll for 2012 is $52.1 million. If they were really in on Beltran, they must be willing to go to $60 million. But if they trade a starting pitcher, the Rays are more likely to add minor leaguers and see the payroll drop to $40-45 million.

The Rays may be just one bat from the World Series. At this point we are skeptical they will find one. But if they do, well, that would be a nice present.




  1. Joe says:

    Pena as our big signing. Zumaya on an incentive laden deal, Rizzo traded for and learn “the Rays way” for a bit. Re sign Damon for cheap as no one else is interested.

    Of course, if they confidence in Rizzo and don’t feel like taking the risk on Zumaya. We can trade for Rizzo, re sign Damon and trade for Andrew Bailey because A) He’s awesome and B) Red Sox wants him.

    • cubfanraysaddict says:

      The Rays Way- 6.5 years of control, no super two, see you after the all-star break!

      • Joe says:

        Not always the case, of course as Price got super 2 status. I’m just hoping that even if Friedman can’t find his “perfect match” for Neimann/Davis, Moore still breaks camp with the team. Considering I thought that was 100% the case when they gave him a long term deal.

  2. RedBull says:

    Trade for Carlos Lee aka “El Cubayo” by giving up a couple low level prospects, and the Astros kicking in about $10 million of his salary…then trade for Kendrys Morales and Hank Conger by giving up Davis. That gives us a run-producing DH, a high reward first baseman, and a young switch-hitting catcher that can finally get a chance to catch 80-100 games. I’m not opposed to Rizzo, but I think San Diego wants us to give them Hak-Ju Lee, and that’s not going to happen.

  3. Tone says:

    I enjoy the speculation, but let’s all face reality. No was has any idea what has been offered and what has been turned down. Hopefully they put another solid team together and we are lucky enough to see playoff baseball again. Just relax and wait, because no one knows when this group is making a move. For me personally, I would love to see Pena back, but I highly doubt it given his price tag. I hope Andrew can continue his success. He has delivered so far.

  4. Don says:

    Why is it when people (so called Experts) begin discussing Hitters…Names like Carlos Pena come up? Pena is not a hitter…he is a strike out artist that hits a home run every 7-8 days or so… there are problably 1000 guys out there working construction that could do the same thing..once they made contact the ball would be gone… does that make them a professional hitter or a construction worker?….. ala. Pena

    • pete says:

      You ever heard of advanced metrics? Didn’t think so.

      • Don says:

        “advanced metrics” is that like algebra…I use it about as much as I use algebra…watch the guy swing a bat..and you are going to try to tell me hes a professional baseball hitter…Kotchman is 10X the “hitter” Pena is..

        • pete says:

          So you’re 100% sure 2011 wasn’t an outlier year for Kotchman? The same guy who hit .217 in 2010. “IF” Kotchman can reproduce his play in 2011 going forward i would absolutely agree with you.

        • Tom says:


          3 players (Jackson,Stargell, and Schmidt) in the Top Ten on the all-time strikeout list are in the Hall of Fame. 3 others are not yet eligible and have an excellent chance of making the hall (ARod, Sosa, and Thome) and a 4th may eventually get in (McGriff). Most power hitters strike out quite a bit.

          There is really no need to use “advanced metrics” to prove Pena is a better hitter than Kotchman. Lets try a nic simple statistic. In 2010 Pena’s worst year, he had 84 RBI and 64 Runs in 144 games. In 2011 Kotchman’s best year since 2007, he had 48 RBI and 44 Runs in 146 games.

          • pete says:

            You’re using Weighted Runs Created to simplify things which is RBI and Runs Scored combined. Either way , it just shows that Don is wrong.

          • cubfanraysaddict says:

            Hey Don, even really shitty statistics say you’re wrong lol

  5. Joe says:

    I really only like Pena on a 1 year deal because I feel Rizzo is such a fit and Friedman sees that but is also sure to see things he needs to work on to be a “Rays” player. If it takes 2 years, Pena looks a lot worse, I guess he can move to DH but I don’t know..

  6. RedBull says:

    It doesn’t matter guys! Both Pena and Kotchman have flaws as hitters. Pena has tons of power, drive in runs, hit for no average, and will K 170+ times; while Kotchman will hit for little power, not drive in many runs, hit for a decent average, and not K very often. The only thing they both do well is field their position among the elite in the game. It’s really unfair to compare the 2 as hitters because they’re polar opposites. To be honest, neither of them solve the problem at first base except for their defensive work. Kendrys Morales gives us a balance of both, and Rizzo might do the same (but he’s unproven, so there’s no telling). Trumbo isn’t known for being a very good defender, and he doesn’t get on base a whole lot…so I don’t see him fitting in the Rays formula. Gotta start thinking like Friedman, guys. This doesn’t mean we won’t sign Pena or Kotchman…it just means they’ll be looking for an answer that is more long term, instead of continuing with the revolving door.

    • Tom says:

      I agree both Kotchman and Pena have flaws but I think that is what the Ray’s are going to get- a player who is undervalued because of his flaws. That has been Friedman’s model his entire career.

  7. RedBull says:

    Tom, what you say is true. Except now, Pena and Kotchman have been exposed. So, they aren’t the hidden gem they once were viewed. I think Rizzo is who they really want, but Morales may be who they settle for. Rizzo would give them 6 years of a controllable answer. Morales would give them the risk-reward answer. So, I think Rizzo makes the most sense and who they are working to get as we speak.

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