Here are a few leftover links to take us into the weekend

  • Scott Kazmir has agreed to a minor league deal with the Indians after impressing scouts in Winter League ball. [ESPN]
  • Marc Topkin takes a look at some of the possibilities that remain in the Rays’ search for a bat or two. []
  • Here is another writer saying his/her team should trade for Ben Zobrist. And why would the Rays trade Zobrist? “To save money.” And once again, a writer gets confused and thinks the Rays are the Marlins. The Rays trade players because there is no room on the roster. And they trade expensive players if given a package of players that they can’t refuse. But the Rays have never traded a player simply to save money. []
  • The Blue Jays are now the betting favorite to win the World Series at 15/2. The Rays are 12th at 22/1. []
  • The Top 10 Bay Area sports stories of 2012. []
  • I hope you didn’t have any money on Duke last night. [BI Sports]
  • Here’s a look at the Bucs salary cap situation. [JoeBucsFan]
  • Is this the new Dolphins logo? [BI Sports]





  1. Matthew B. says:

    So youre saying the rays have never salary dumped?

    Badenhop wants to have a word with you.

    And yes, I agree that suggestibg a trade of one of the highest WAR players in the past four years to save that modest salary of what, 5mil per year, is pretty darned stupid.

    • Cork Gaines says:

      You think the Rays couldn’t afford Badenhop? That’s not why he was traded. Maybe it was because they thought they could find the same (or better) production at a cheaper price. It maybe he was a terrible teammate that Maddon just wanted gone. But it wasn’t because they couldn’t afford him or because they were trying to keep payroll down.

      • Joe says:

        How can you say Shields and Davis, let alone Matt Garza were not traded for salary considerations. Either they didn’t feel the player matched the salary, or they wanted to rid themselves of the obligation. And the Rays are not redeploying the money given up in the trades, unless if you want to argue that its going to cover existing arbitration cases? I can’t buy that argument.

        • Cork Gaines says:

          Saving money was a nice bonus. But it wasn’t like the Rays were going to trade Shields and Davis no matter what. If the Royals didnt make the offer they made, those two would still be on the team and the Rays would have no problem playing the season and paying those salaries.

          • Joe says:

            But the money isn’t being redeployed, one would think. I have always felt the Rays “cheat” themselves on their major league payroll level. They tell the world “we can’t afford it”, and that is where I got a HUGE, MEGA problem with Sternberg and can’t stand it. It’s tactically wrong and you are putting an artificial cap on the market.

      • Matthew B. says:

        Joe, the Shields and Davis trade absolutely did not happen because of salary considerations. Those are some genuinely dynamite prospects we received, and honestly, I will be very happy if Myers alone lives up to expectations, much less Odorizzi or Montgomery (I think he’s the diamond in the rough, which the Rays pitching coaches will really make shine)

        The Badenhop trade was pretty strange though Cork, considering that we are still looking for bullpen pieces at this time. The Carmona/Hernandez signing made it even stranger, since I believe we are paying him more money than Badenhop would have gotten. Do you believe we did that to have a long man out of the bullpen, or a spot starter if needed? I thought Badenhop was generally effective last year, enough to justify a fairly meager salary. The minor league guy we received

        Don, Pena didn’t exactly light up the scoreboards during his time with the Cubs. Nor did he when he returned. Crawford would have been a nightmare for us as well. Bartlett was aging, and drastically losing range at his position, Damon was not effective also. You’re inferring that Kyle Farnsworth during his first year, and Fernando Rodney this past year were ‘worse players’ than Soriano? Nope! Kazmir, really Don? Do you think we dropped him strictly because of salary? Absolutely not, the guy was a trainwreck, as the years since that trade proved time and time again. Half of the list you gave are defunct players just one/two years after they’ve left us.

        • Cork Gaines says:

          Yes, Badenhop was a bit strange. That’s why I wonder if there was some underlying factor (i.e. off-the-field) that we don’t know about. But if the season started today, Badenhop’s role would likely be filled by Hernandez who will make a lot more than what the Rays would have had to pay Badenhop.

        • Joe says:

          I understand the dynamics of the Shields and Davis trade and its because of the failure of Beckham really not working out to be the “dynamic” (sorry for my choice of words) type of number one overall pick that he could have been. It is unfortunate. To me, I like Myers, but to put all the focus and energy on him and making him Robin to Longoria’s Batman is utterly disrespectful. Build an ensemble cast. I felt the Rays could have gotten Anthony Rizzo or Yonder Alonzo and either of those packages from Cincinnati or San Diego if they pursued that with more vigor.

          Again, my problem is the “cap” placed on the team and its all artificial. I don’t like when someone says its an “either or” proposition when a similar club in a similar predicament can load up and if it doesn’t work, you can bail out either at the deadline or take the draft pick compensation. The Rays REFUSE to address the 1B position and since Wes Bankston went south, decided to go for the castoff route and get lucky.

          Go for a Michael Morse (if LaRoche doesn’t come back), get some spark. Although the club competes, how much fun is it really? Are we really going to sit back and wait a freaking year and kiss David Price goodbye because he costs too much? If you can pay Longoria an AAV of $16.67 mil starting in 2014, you can certainly as heck pay David Price around $20 million per over 3-4 years and he would be WORTH IT!!

          I am just sick and tired of the lack of regard Rays’ fans are treated with and Rays fans like myself have to quibble about inane either or questions and we can’t act like an even middle of the road major league team because our process driven owner has a problem with the Mayor of St. Petersburg!!

        • don says:

          You forgot what the point was, Who was sent off Because of money, I told you, what hey did 2 years later has no relevance..
          After the Cubs Rays gave him $7+ mil…good deployment of their(Rays) assets…They got nothing for Soriano, Farnsw. & Rodney off the scrap heap they Money dumped Millions….
          Hard to say they NEVER have when they do it every day..that was the whole original point…they are the Marlins on a smaller scale..

    • Dave L says:

      Matthew B.- cork is right on Hopper he was supposed to be our ground ball situational specialist and he didnt succeed with balls flying out of the park in the most inopportune times and his salary didnt justify his value.

      And Fausto, was brought in Matthew in a relatively cheap attempt to push back the clock on future starters Cobb, Archer, and Odorizzi. If he doesnt pan out the try to make him WD replacement as Cork says but Cork thats plan B. Starting Carmona is Plan A

      Joe- Sheilds (and Kaz, Garza, et al) were traded to get something in return when in a short time we would get nothing. And seeing that our pitching has methodically improved each year since the regime took over, that is undeniable.

      Trading WD is what we had to do to close the deal and the Rays felt that it was worth it.

      The key is a true salary dump is trading costly underperforming guys and getting LESS VALUE LONG and SHORT term in return to save $$$$ ala the Fish.

      The Rays will argue they always thought they were getting better overall performance in the LONG term and they had short term cheaper replacements who would be at best a wash in the short term.

      Also Joe, the self imposed cap is necessary to maintain the owners yearly $20M off the top profit. Its as simple as that.

      • Joe says:

        Sooner or later though you can’t and won’t improve anymore. The proverbial rubber is going to hit the road. It looks that way with Price as no matter what they get in return, it can’t match the player. To me, it’s a dump when you are not taking that money and redeploying it. I will be the first person to unfortunately admit that it’s not how much you spend but how you spend it BUT the Rays at a yearly level especially now can’t make that argument when you can’t go to the mean level. Everyone calls Friedman a genius because he knows when to let a player go but come on, lets get competitive. Lets not put Wil Myers in a catch 22 and give him as soft as a landing as possible. Besides Zobrist and Joyce who perform like water faucets, the Rays lack accomplished hitters to pair up with Longoria. To me going after Swisher or LaRoche would have been smart considering yes the draft pick compensation and the years, with LaRoche being smarter. James Loney makes my stomach quiver knowing how quick he accepted a 1 year $2million offer. How cheap of both Loney and the Rays. I want the Rays to think bigger, as far as what they can do and what teu think they perceive themselves as

        • Dave L says:

          Joe seriously the Nats most likely have an offer on the table to Laroche for 2 years wayyyyyy in excess of what the Rays would offer for 1. He is seeking a 3 yr deal. We have zero hope. You hope/realistically-think the Rays will overpay for a SS GG 100RBI 33HR 32yo coming off a career year? For 3 years?

          The Rays did plough the Sheilds/ Wade savings back into the marginally increased salaries of the core players, and have some left to sign a couple of bats.

          Thats it.

          In two years look at Larouche salary and his productivity in 2013 2014 and well…. get back to me.

          Signing 30+ guys to longish contracts after career years is not the best investment in the post PED era.

          • Joe says:

            And what do the Rays have for a future at 1B? That is why I am more of a fan of acquiring Morse than LaRoche, just because he can play LF and 1B. But my point is that the Rays won’t pay 8 figures and a multiyear contract to a player on the market. Sometimes, though, its a necessity to make that transaction, but they simply don’t do it. It doesn’t endear me to them, as I have made too clear! There is such a thing as going rate, and what happens when Loney performs like a $2 million player instead of overperforming? Are people going to put the Rays in the hot seat? Do we as fans have a right to expect at least a .270 hitter with at least 25 HR and 90 RBI and a middle of the order presence bat? Oh, I agree about the costs, but there is a time that its simply a cost of doing business. You cannot do it all internally. Expecting Luke Scott to be a “savior” isn’t fair to him or the team last year and the Rays got less than what they paid for. I feel sad for Pena, but he just couldn’t even put the ball in play, let alone anything else. Again, I just want the Rays to be less arrogant in their approach and admit being multidimensional in regards to their spending and perhaps, just PERHAPS, for once, they may create a legitimate buzz in their offseason, wow, what a concept? And they really have made their team better!

          • Joe says:

            What about a first time free agent who is in their late 20′s and is on the open market for the first time

        • Dave L says:

          Joe I think we just have a fundamental difference in terminology.

          When Cork says we never just traded a guy away to save money. What he means is just simply dump a guy and get little or nothing in return. We never have to dump guys Marlins style because we never sign those ridiculous contracts to begin with.

          Do we let guys walk in thier prime because of offers the get elsewhere? YES
          Do the Rays ever bid for a guy in his late 20′s coming into free agency with a developing big bat? NO he inevitably gets overpaid and signed to risky long term deals.

          Do the Rays trade away guys into thier prime because they wont pay the guys? ABSOLUTELY YES. But we try to get something comparable in return for the future.

          Name one overpaid player on the Rays roster. Do guys not perform to thier salary in any given year. Yes all the time. Pena 2012 was an example. But we have no fat in the payroll.

          What you dislike about the Rays is what I love. We have a different appreciation for how to build and maintain a winning baseball team on a tight budget.

          Could we sign more free agents? Sure but then the owner wouldn’t get his annual $20M+ profit.

  2. Don says:

    How about traded Or gave away because of money, Crawford, Pena (1st time) Posey(signing bonus), Bartlett, Kepp. Sorreno, Damon, Kazmir, Garza, Shields , Davis (in bullpen)ALL for the MAIN reason of money, they got cheap, worse players in return (sure I forgot a few)

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