MLB: SEP 16 Red Sox v RaysMatt Silverman did a Q&A with MLB.com. The most interesting part of the interview comes at the end where Silverman pretty much concedes what we have been saying around here, that the 2015 season is being sacrificed for the future.

Silverman was asked if he  has accomplished what he hoped so far this off-season:

There has been tremendous change, not only within our organization, but throughout our roster. We believe those changes benefit our organization. The results may not materialize immediately, but over the course of several years, we expect they will shine through.

Silverman does follow that up by saying his “expectation is that [they] will be playing meaningful games in September.” But at the same time it sure sounds like he is prepping the fan base for what could end up being a season even worse than last year.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • The Nationals are not expected to go after Ben Zobrist as they view the price as “too high.” Ken Rosenthal thinks they should reconsider. [FoxSports]
  • Evan Longoria donated a game-used bat for an auction. That bat was used to hit a home run off of Drew Smyly and Longo made sure Smyly knew that. [@SmylyD]
  • Shelley Duncan has been named the manager of a short-season minor league team in the Diamondbacks organization. [@Darren_Headrick]
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13 Comments

  1. Mr. Smith 1980 says:

    Prof,
    I gotta say I disagree with your constant insistence that 2015 is being given away. There is a wide line between putting together the best squad you can and entering a complete rebuild.
    The Rays, I say, are right in the middle of that wide line or scale; they are not by any means putting together the best team they can, but they are also not blowing up the core of the team which is still pitching. The WAR of the rostered pitchers and new additions carries at or near the same weight as the loss of the WAR of Myers and possibly Zobrist (as well as the other ancillary losses).
    They stand to be equally competitive this year as in the previous 2 in my ever-so-humble opinion.

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  2. Gus says:

    As much as we want to thing the guys in the front offices are geniuses and can plan things out, they can't. That is why we love sports. The whole idea behind 2014 was that was the Rays world series year (more pundits picked the Rays to be the AL rep in the World Series than anyone else in USA Today) -- and they sucked out loud from the first series of the season.

    So there is no reason why all the winshares dimished expectations can't go the other way in 2015 -- they had the worst buzzard's luck all season last year; that goes the other way, Moore comes back better, Balfour comes back better, some of the new guys hit, the Outlaw becomes the best defensive OF in the league -- these things are all within the realm of the possible.

    When your owner gashes your payroll, you can't expect a world series, but it has been true that the two most disappointing seasons in modern Rays history have been 2009 and 2014 -- the years when they spent $ (you can thrown the Hit Show season in there for the D-Rays fans). So 2015 could be good ---- it will be new and fresh and Molina-free. I can't wait.

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    • Skateman says:

      Plus, no Peralta or Hellickson, which should cut game times in half. And if you didn't have a sinking feeling every time Myers came to the plate last year, you didn't watch many games. God, did he look terrible...on defense, too.

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    • Mr. Smith 1980 says:

      Emphatic emphasis on Molina-free!!

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  3. edward williams says:

    may not agree with everything , but whole heartidly agree on molina and peralta, now if we can just get a hitting coach, oh well maybe rocko can help. guess we can't have everything.

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  4. Dave L says:

    Zobrist's WAR is good enough for 13th best amongst all position players last year as Cork noted. But he's not top 20 in anything His gift is he is better than average at all aspects of being a baseball player some things he is slightly better but it would be hard to say alot better except baseball IQ which is off the charts. He has better than average plate selection and a higher BB% and lower K%. He is has average speed but his smarts make him a BTA base runner. He hits for above the league average but not by alot, He has more steals than most and rarely hurts the team on the basepaths. Even with only 10 home runs his slugging was BTA. He's averaged over 150 games for many years so he's healthier than most.

    He is a BTA defensive player at the corner outfields and 2B. He is an average CF and at best an average defensive SS but his offense at those more offensively challenged positions make him a BTA CF or SS in a pinch.

    If you arent a great hitter its better to be a BTA switch hitter from both sides of the plate which he is. From the left side hes a power hitter with more K's and walks and from the right hes a high average singles hitter. So his productivity is similar.

    His most value comes at 2B rather than the OF as his offensive productivity sticks out more there. So the Rays lately have utilized him perfectly. Look for whoever gets him to primarily work 2nd but to still move him around to maximize his production. Thats the type of team likely to give us the most in return. Also look for him to be extended before the season starts by his new club or maybe as part of the deal. Pick a club like that they are the only one likely to give us top value we are seeking. Cubs seem like the most likely partner that fit all criteria noted + JoeMa factor.

    If MS is asking 13th best pos player value in return he's not likely to get it and Zo may be here till August at least. If we get Price value you can then color me shocked and wrong.

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    • OriginalTom says:

      2 Players in very similar situations to Zo were trades this winter.
      Howie Kendrick .292/.347/.397 9.5M Salary 5.4 WAR
      Jason Heyward .271/.351/.429 7.8M Salary 6.3 WAR
      Ben Zobrist .272/.354/.395 7.5M Salary 5.0 WAR

      All Stats are 2014 and Zobrist is older than both. Kendrick is 30 and Heyward is 25.

      Anyway Kendrick yielded Andrew Heaney who is a top 30 pitching prospect and Heyward (along with Jordan Walden) netted Shelby Miller and a minor leaguer who was rated in the top 100 (94th by Baseball Prospectus. I believe the Rays should get this kind of return for Zobrist if they decide to trade him.

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      • Skateman says:

        I feel like the delay in signing Cabrera has something to do with a potential trade, of somebody, at least.

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        • OriginalTom says:

          That is likely, otherwise, they need to DFA someone.

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        • Mr. Smith 1980 says:

          It's not out of the realm of possibility to flip Cabrera either if the brain trust feels that Lee is ready for everyday 2B and their dancing partner wants an everyday infielder AND Mr. Utility for a top prospect and an arm (i.e. Susac and Stratton)... unlikely, but not unreasonable.

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  5. Rob says:

    WTH???: http://tbo.com/sports/rays/source-rays-trade-zobrist-escobar-to-as-get-jaso-20150110/?page=1

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