Aug 25, 2015; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays right fielder Daniel Nava (7) at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Aug 25, 2015; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays right fielder Daniel Nava (7) at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It seems like every year the Rays enter the off-season seemingly needing just one or two big pieces to turn the corner and most off-seasons it seems like the Rays come up a little short.

That being said, in most winters, the Rays typically do something that at least gets the optimistic portion of the fan base excited. At least one major publication thinks the Rays didn’t even do that this winter.

Sports Illustrated has graded the Rays’ off-season moves so far and they give them a resounding D+, calling the , “dismal” and reeking of “lack of effort.”

I like the Rays’ side of the Miller trade, which gives them security at an up-the-middle position for the remainder of the decade, and Conger is worth the negligible gamble. But it’s hard to avoid the impression that both of those deals fell into their laps. Dipoto was clearly determined to act and to unload Miller, who no longer fit on a Mariners team that has Marte at shortstop. The Conger “trade,” meanwhile, happened as the deadline to offer him a contract, and thus arbitration, was bearing down on Houston. It’s not clear the Rays have improved at all for the coming season, and their off-season as a whole reeks of lack of effort.

Of course, the Rays have slow-played their hand in the past. In 2011, the Rays signed Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon in late January (the 22nd to be exact). But that hasn’t really been the M.O. of this new front office which, if anything, has been more aggressive and quicker on the trigger than Andrew Friedman was, a general manager who was never afraid to wait for the deal he wanted to make.

There is still time, but so far it is hard to get excited about the 2016 Rays.

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14 Comments

  1. Rob says:

    No mention of Steve Pearce?

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    • Geoff Peterson says:

      I think the SI thing predated that signing. But no mention of Logan Morrison or Farquhar. It seems like SI does not seem to understand that the Rays are set in pitching and they are always unlikely to sign high-priced free agents. That leaves only trades and no one is giving away low cost rising stars without us parting with a starter or solid reliever.

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  2. Ken J says:

    Why ? This is Luke Scott without the guns.

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  3. Giles says:

    The addition of Snell and a full season of a healthy Matt Moore is going to help. Not sure how realistic it was to expect the addition of a big name bat so I am personally not that disappointed. Pearce, LoMo and another late FA addition could turn out to be key.

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  4. Ken says:

    Seems to me the Rays have quite the logjam at 1B and left field. Loney, Pearce, Morrison and Schaffer can't all be on the 25 man roster and same could be said in LF where Jennings, Matook, Pearce and Guyer are competing for playing time. Throw in SS, 2B where you have Miller, Beckam, Forsythe and Franklin vying for 3 positions and it seems clear that somebody's got to go.

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    • OriginalTom says:

      I think the Rays hope to start Schaffer and Mahtook in Triple A.

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      • Ken says:

        You're probably right and that's a pretty frustrating predication. Both are #1 picks, both are college ballplayers and both are 24+ in years. When will we see the Rays actually employ a position playing #1 draft pick? Beckham last year then Longo in '08.
        If these two aren't ready for the show after 3+years at Clemson and LSU and 3+ minor league years when will they be ready? Makes you wonder.

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  5. TOM says:

    I would like to see them trade Jennings & Loney. That would open up a lot..

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  6. Brent says:

    Newsflash, our BIG off-season was last season, and with alot of young talent added, it's this year that we hope to start to see the impact...

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  7. Gus says:

    Teams that win the off-season usually implode by June. Organizations that know what they are doing are expecting competition in the system in spring and during the season to get better, not signing some clown who goes off the juice as soon as he delivers his contract to Scott Boras. Mahtook should definitely get a chance to stick with the big club. This too clever by half business with the service time is frustrating. Let's see where Snell is pitching in mid-season.

    The Rays have a chance to win in 2016. A little sense of urgency from management would be appreciated. You can't blame the Trop for all of your woes any more, and that was weak sauce anyway (they'll likely be able to commit LESS to player payroll from their gate in a new stadium). Get a halfway decent TV contract signed and start signing the young players long term, starting with Dreamy McHustle.

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  8. mep645 says:

    Rays have now a great deal of "almost there" AAA players. The AAA Durham Bulls were raided for players so many times last year and need to regroup to provide depth for the 2016 Rays. Rays have many AA and AAA blazing players that are on the horizon and will be needed in second half of 2016 and in 2017. The big thing for Rays in 2016 is to hope for as few injuries as possible. Injuries ruined 2012, 2014 and 2015. A surplus is a big plus.

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  9. OriginalTom says:

    Joel Sherman is reporting the Rays traded McGee for Corey Dickerson.

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  10. FortMyersDave says:

    The trade for Dickerson is a major plus for the Rays. They get a Young talent who is under their control for 4 years for Jake M and his 2 years of control. The Rockie publications are scratching their heads on this one and seem to think it is a coup for the rays. Losing Jake will hurt but this trade brings some power to the lineup and perhaps makes a player like Desmond Jennings now available for more pieces of the puzzle.

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