There are only seven games left in the regular season. And whether the Rays play in the postseason or not, we are now just a little over one month away from the off-season and all the renewed rumors of which players the Rays will trade.

Last winter, the Rays trade Matt Garza for half of the Cubs farm system. But with speculation swirling that James Shields will be the next to go, Andrew Friedman sounds like a guy that would prefer to hold on to Shields, and the rest of the starting pitchers

“Starting pitching depth is very fleeting,” Friedman said. “While we have it right now, we can’t wake up one day with [only] three or four starters, where we have to go looking on the market…We’re absolutely doomed if that happens. We’re certainly not going into the winter saying we have too much starting pitching.”

Of course, this doesn’t mean the Rays won’t trade Shields or another starting pitcher. And if a team makes another Cubs-like offer, Friedman will make the deal.

In the trade game, this is standard operating procedure for the Rays. They will never admit that they need or even want to trade a particular player. And they will always be willing to hold on to a player unless their price is met. By taking these stances publicly, it tells other teams that they must make a strong offer or it will be rejected.



  1. jim says:

    if you can't score runs, then you can only succeed so far. how many freaking years did the atlanta braves have excellent starting pitching and zero hitting? sure they made the playoffs but only one title.

    if it gets you there, starting pitching alone doesn't produce deep playoff runs. once in the playoffs, almost everyone has 2 good starters. 5 isn't needed at that point.

    0 to 2 runs a game in 1/3 of the season isn't going to cut it. we need some offense. what friedman is really saying is "young starters are cheap, and we have a bunch of them, so let's stick with it and see where it takes us."

    • MarkE says:

      We painfully know "where it takes us already". Get some freakin bats in here or you'll average 12K per game in the Trop next year. If you trade Shields for a pitcher, you'll look like a complete fool. The pitching performance is never going to be better than it was this year, and we still couldn't make it to the post season with this offensive offense.

  2. jim says:

    Last place in AL (.224) with runners in scoring position. 11th in AL with bases loaded. 12th in AL runs scored. 13th in average. If you don’t fix “this” then it really doesn’t matter who takes the mound.

    Any team In the AL can generally take the lead with a couple of good at bats against us. If our starting pitchers give up 2 or more runs, then it’s a crapshoot.

    And yes your starters can only take you so far. We got career years from soriano, benoit, peralta and and farnsworth. Without those where would we have been?

  3. Beth says:

    But doesn't it make sense for Friedman to at least talk this way? "We're desperate for a bat" isn't exactly the way you go into trade talks.

    But of course they will look to trade starting pitching. They've got 6 pretty much proven major leaguers (I'm counting Cobb who's stats, while not bad, really underplay his impressiveness -- he had two bad outings, the first, when he was perhaps tipping pitches, and the last, when his arm felt numb, and the 7 or so in between were really excellent) and if Moore is a half-season away from the bigs, then you really have too many starting pitchers. I've always been a fan of seeing if Neimann might be bullpen material (and his need to miss a start tonight merely reinforces my view that he was not built to pitch 200 innings a year), but that still leaves 6 starters.

  4. Gus says:

    No. No. No.

    You go old school and have some younger starters pitch out of the pen when you need to conserve some innings and you make one of them a closer. Morre? Cobb? Davis?

    Much easier to find bats. Just have to promote and not obsess over service time. The solutions are generally within the system. Dump Upton for a SS or Catcher until the guys in the minors at those positions are ready.

    • Sarah says:

      Gus, I got to differ with you here.

      Although there may be some starters who you put in the pen (someone suggested Neimann) you weigh their trade value as young inexpensive starters. If you could parlay, say, Wade Davis into a strong defensive catcher who could hit .250, wouldn't you want to do it?

      And I'd be more sanguine about finding bats from within if there seemed to be legitimate, strong prospects in Triple A. But beyond Guyer (who hasn't exactly overwhelmed us in his brief call up) who do we have?


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