Chris Archer

The GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.

RAYS 2, Jays 1 (10; boxscore)

THE GOOD: The starting pitchers keep rolling. Since trading David Price, the starting pitchers have a combined ERA of 2.28 in 22 starts. Here is the breakdown as shown by Sun Sports prior to Saturday’s game. I’ve added some edits to account for Jeremy Hellickson on Saturday and Big Tree’s 7-inning, 1-run performance on Sunday. This is pretty good.

Snapshot_20140823_114543

THE BAD: Just not enough offense. The Rays had 10 hits and 3 walks which normally would be a good day at the ballpark. But the Rays also scored just 1 run in the first 9 innings. The big culprit, as usual, was the strikeouts and the failure to get runners in from scoring position. 5 players had at least 2 strikeouts on Sunday including James Loney and Wil Myers who had 3 Ks each. Prior to Evan Longoria’s RBI-single in the 10th inning, the offense was 0-7 with runners in scoring position with 1 walk and 4 strikeouts.

USATSI_8045292_154511044_lowres

THE TELLING: Yunel Escobar was claimed by the Oakland A’s on revocable waivers. Escobar is still a member of the Rays, but could be traded to the A’s if the two teams can work out a deal by tomorrow afternoon. If Escobar had cleared waivers, the Rays could have traded him to any team…The Rays are now 64-66, 7.5 games back in the Wild Card.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Yunel Escobar’s agent says he is “very concerned with Yunel having been selected on waivers by Oakland … While I believe Oakland is an excellent organization, I don’t feel that it is the best organization for him.” [CBSSports.com]
  • DOWN ON THE FARM [boxscoresEnny Romero struck out 7 and walked 2, giving up 2 runs over 5 innings in Durham’s loss to Gwinnett. Nick Franklin went 2-4 with a stolen base and Tim Bekcham was 1-4 with a strikeout…David DeJesus went 1-4 with a strikeout playing DH for Charlotte. Ryan Hanigan was 1-3 and played all 9 innings. He appears to be very close to returning.

Here is Dave Wills calling the final strike from Sunday’s win.

An unusual display of emotion from Desmond Jennings.

We don’t see a lot of these at the Trop for Jose Molina or Curt Casali.

capture_20140824_191234

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19 Comments

  1. Chris Wise says:

    Durham won last night, 5-3. Adam Liberatore got the save even though he gave up a home run … but it was the first this year in 60+ innings and 51 appearances. Not on the 40-man so you can't call him up … yet.

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  2. Ken H says:

    Trading Escobar to the A's might make sense if the return was favorable. The A's have a couple of High A position players at Stockton with some pop. Shedding another 13 million in salary commitment is the Rays way. Overall I have liked what Yunel has given us in spite of a down year. Zobrist could be a stop gap SS for 2015, we'd give up some "D" for some pop. Very interesting...

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  3. Gus says:

    Just to be clear -- no trade has to be worked out; the A's have claimed him, so long as the Rays don't lose their minds and pull him back, Escobar and his bad contract are gone.

    This is the greatest turn of events for the Rays organization in years, a fantastic break that allows the team to get out from under a bad contract from an aging dude who can't field anymore.

    Make way for Franklin, Lee, Beckham, the 16 year old Dominican or. as I have suggeted for years, our man Ben Zobrist. But anybody but Escobar is an upgrade moving forward and huge slary relief.

    Enjoy bathing in the extra $100 bills Stu! Billy Beane just bailed Friedman out of a veyr bad extension.

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  4. starmand says:

    I see the Escobar issue in two ways.

    Either it is a move by the FO to wake him up, or the FO has determined that a Zobrist/Forsythe platoon is better than an Escobar/Zobrist.

    If nothing comes from the claim, it arises out of the former.

    If the claim works out, even for a PTBNL or cash considerations, it arises out of the latter.

    My guess is, Zobrist/Forsythe is better than Escobar/Zobrist. That combination worked exceedingly well during the only Rays hot streak this year. Plus, money is saved to pay Zobrist next year. Or save it to hire a bat in 2015 and then look within the ranks for a SS.

    In addition, I think the FO is tired of dealing with BJ Upton-types. And Escobar doesn't seem to have many "friends" in the dugout.

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    • Ken H says:

      Good analysis, however option one is less favorable in the sense that how much can Escobar step up his game? No question that he's probably one of the best SS's the Rays have had. Yes he's flashy, quirky and often seems alone on the bench. I think that the language barrier has a lot to do with the latter.
      Bottom line is that the Rays have an incredible log jam of middle infielders right now. Zobrist, Escobar, Forsythe, SRod, Franklin, Figquora. Beckham and still developing Hak Ju Lee, Ryan Brett, Adames and Rondon all in the fold. Of that group only Zobrist, IMO, is untouchable. Make the move.

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  5. edward williams says:

    what ,nobody claimed molina, shocking lol. Serious now, the one thing that has really become annoying to watch is all the strikeouts looking, why don't they at least try to foul off some pitches, especially balls that look like they are right down the middle, oh and taking the first pitch strike, i know im not the one at bat, but really they are suppose to be professional hitters, you would think they could at least extend the at bats more, i heard on the radio today that wil myers has 10 strikeouts since being called back , 9 of them looking, drives me crazy, it has to drive Joe crazy as well , if im correct wasn't he a hitting instructor at one time. Oh well GO RAYS

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  6. Old bob says:

    A's have 4catchers now. Escobar for Vogt would be nice.

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    • STARMAND says:

      Heck, I would make the move even if the As only throw in a box of Yoenis Cespedes bobbleheads!

      "Final offer!", said the Rays GM. :)

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  7. Dave L says:

    Although he isn't having one of his better years offensively or defensively , Escobar is still a league average offensive shortstop. We have no indication that Franklin or Lee will give us equal or better offensive output than Yunel, but we can only hope so. Beckham would even have less of a chance and every other SS in the org is too young to matter in 2015-16.

    I am going on the working assumption that a 34 year old Zobrist will be offered more $$ for more years by someone other than the Rays and therefore he won't be around next year after we trade him in the offseason.

    I don't see the Rays giving up Yunel for a song and a dance. Something certainly less than a proven starter but more than Brignac or Eliot two recent anybody but Escobars (and PTBNL) i dont miss at all.

    The Rays can't afford to give away assets because they can never buy them and Escobar is an asset and his salary while significant to the Rays is pretty much what a 30 something starting SS makes and easy for many teams to swallow.

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    • Gus says:

      If Escobar was a free agent after this season, there is no team on God's green earth that is paying him $13m for the next two years (the $7M option in 2017 is downright proposterous).

      He is aging in dog years at a position you cannot age well at; he has absolutely no power. He is negative WAR this year and headed downward (just look at his wasitline; he's not going to age well carrying that weight).

      This is manna from baseball heaven. The cannot recall him from waivers under any circumstance, especially with Zobrist as the short term solution and longer term solutions down on the farm.

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      • Dave L says:

        Billy Beane essentially just offered him a $13M free agent contract for the next 2 years plus prorated remainder of 2014 correct?

        If AF signs off, not his agent, he is bound to the A's for the remainder of his contract, correct?

        What am I missing here?

        There is nothing that says Lee isnt Brignac redux and Franklin isn't Eliot Johnson Jr. I am not saying they are but you are so sure they are not? Which farm kids could play league average SS for the Rays in 2015 and 16?

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        • Gus says:

          Billy Beane is not making a market-based decision; he is making a waiver dump decision to try and win a world series this year after his SS broke his hand; for that he knows he's overpaying.

          Farm guys are an unknown, but that is why you traded for Franklin (and the single A guy) presumably, and Zobrist gives you a really good safety net. With money saved, you can reallocate to find a better SS than Escobar in 2015 if everything else fails.

          Escobar is not going to be league average for the rest of this contract; that ship has sailed. Need to find another answer.

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  8. Gus says:

    If true that they've pulled Escobar back from waivers, this is one of the 5 worst decisions in Rays history (post-D-Rays division). Absolutely idiotic. Horrific. Friedman compounds a bad decision (the extension) with a worse one (a get of contract free card).

    Brutal.

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  9. Dave L says:

    Beane and I disagree with you on Escobars value as a MLB SS in 2015. You think he's fallen off a cliff skill wise and I don't. You think we couldn't do worse and I think we could do a hell of alot worse because we have. I'll take a 2014 Escobar even over every SS we had since Bartlett left not named Zobrist.

    The A's are nearly as cash strapped as we are. The Rays payroll should be approx $100M in 2015, spending 5% of it on Escobar isnt alot.

    You seem to think Zobrist will be around for '15 and '16 and beyond.

    What could the Rays sign him for as an unrestricted free agent in 2016? Now add 50% to that contract and an additional year and thats what the Sox and Yanks would offer him for starters. Not to mention everybody else.

    Every team in MLB could use a Ben Zobrist, every team. We dont win those type scenarios, ever.

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    • OriginalTom says:

      Rays hav a 7.5M option on Zobrist in 2015 so he will most likely return next season.

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      • Dave L says:

        Precisely.

        Then in 2016?

        Whats the value of a proven above average offensive starting 2B/RF/LF ---plus SS/CF in a pinch--- on the open market?

        Everyone here takes Zobrist for granted and I dont understand it at all.

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        • Gus says:

          Zobrist's highest and best use is at SS. Always has been. Flexibility for flexibility's sake.

          If Friedman can't come up with a SS for 2016, then he really has lost it.

          Dave L. thinks Escobar is worth his contract; I do not; time will tell.

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          • Dave L says:

            More precisely Gus was willing to let The A's have Escobar and his contract with zero compensation in August 2014, because he 'knew' AF would easily find a ML SS for 2015.

            Not willing to annoint one of the younger guys yet, Gus? That would involve considerable risk on your part of being for something rather than against it. Better to choose the impossible to keep Zobrist so you can't lose huh?

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