Sunday, December 17, 2017
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An Evan Longoria trade continues to make no sense whatsoever

December 17th, 2017

The Tampa Bay area has one daily newspaper, and therefore only one print outlet that follows the team. That is the Tampa Bay Times, which acquired its rival and narrowed the beat writers deployed to one. Marc Topkin is the last man standing. He was been with the Times and has been documenting the Rays from the start: he was on the story before there ever was an expansion team. Twenty years later, you have to assume he has his finger on the pulse of Tampa Bay baseball. You have to assume he knows how the front office operates, and that to the extent they tip their hand to any journalist, they... Read More

I still hate Vinny Castilla: Which players do Rays fans love to hate?

December 17th, 2017

Some players just merit booing, whether they against or for your team… I remember going to a game in June 2004 when the Colorado Rockies were at Tropicana Field to take on the Devil Rays. Checking the attendance through Baseball Reference shows it was one of the lowest attended games of the year, but a moment occurred during the game that I’ll remember for the rest of my life. In the top of the second, Vinny Castilla came to the plate for Colorado and as his name was announced, the less than 10,000 strong at the Trop that night roared with thunderous booing. It was the loudest thing I... Read More

Baseball Prospectus Top 10 Rays Prospects

December 16th, 2017

Number five will surprise you! There several prospect ranking systems and they all go about their business a little differently. That’s great, because we benefit from a few different perspectives. Baseball Prospectus’ Top 10 Rays Prospect List, which was recently released, typically cares more about upside than probability of being a major league contributor. Baseball Prospectus sees five Rays prospects with impact potential. The fifth may surprise you. 1. Brent Honeywell, RHP Honeywell is one of the top pitching prospects in all of baseball. He has a mid to upper 90s fastball. Changeup... Read More

What the Rays Opening Day roster would look like as of now

December 15th, 2017

The bullpen would be completely changed, but everything else the same for the most part The winter meetings have come and passed with plenty of fanfare and not much else as only one major trade went down — the Miami Marlins shipping Marcell Ozuna off to the St Louis Cardinals — and several top of the line free agent relievers found homes as well. The Rays made a couple of minor moves, but have been rumored to have something major in the works regarding several of their core players with Evan Longoria and Alex Colome among their most popular names being sought out. However, as of now, the Rays... Read More

On this date in Tampa Bay Rays history: 2006, they signed 3B Akinori Iwamura

December 15th, 2017

A fan favorite joined the Tampa Bay Rays on this date in 2006 On this date in 2006, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays signed Japanese 3B Akinori Iwamura to a three year, $7.7M deal with an option for a fourth year. The Devil Rays had won the rights to negotiate with Iwamura a month prior, by outbidding the San Diego Padres and Cleveland Indians, with a posting fee of $4.5M. During his time in Japan, Iwamura was a member of the Yakult Swallows and over the years he accrued six Gold Gloves and five All-Star game nominations. He had hit at least 30 HR over the past three seasons leading up this posting and... Read More

2018 DRaysBay Community Prospect List: How and when to vote

December 15th, 2017

A brief primer for our annual exercise in prospect ranking, which begins Monday On Monday, we will begin the annual DRaysBay Community Prospect List. I believe this will be the eighth straight offseason we’ve done it. Here’s how last season’s list turned out. If you’ve never seen it before, it’s quite simple, albeit it not as simple as just setting up a poll. In the comments section, there will be a selection of players available. You just have to reply to the comment with that player’s name with “+1.” We encourage you to vote for the player you honestly feel is best, even if he... Read More

Tampa Bay Rays news and links: Winter meetings end without a deal

December 15th, 2017

Plenty to talk about in the Rays system, though. Baseball America analyzed every pick in the Rule 5 draft and gave Burch Smith, formerly of the Rays, a 90% chance to stick in Kansas City. “When we saw Burch in September, he was a major league pitcher. Obviously everybody saw him in the fall league and saw what he can do. It’s an upper 90s fastball and it’s a plus changeup he’ll use in any count with a solid breaking ball,” Royals pro scouting director Gene Watson said. I’m not going to criticize the Rays too much for doing what they think is right regarding a player’s development... Read More

DRaysBay Winter Meetings Recap for 2018

December 15th, 2017

This year at the Winter Meetings was….uneventful to say the least. That is something we expected, and even though it was uneventful, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t exciting. Here is a short recap of what happened this week in Orlando: Kevin Cash spoke of the exciting youth core that he hopes to have a major impact on the MLB roster in 2018 The Rays made THREE trades! One for Joey Wendle from the A’s and another for Ryan Schimpf from the Padres for INF Deion Tansel. They also traded LHP Anthony Misiewicz to Seattle for $1 Million in international money to help sign star international... Read More

Rays constantly fail to live up to their third-order winning percentage

December 14th, 2017

By all predictions the Rays should be much better than they have been The Rays have posted four straight losing seasons. That is a fact. They finished below 81 wins each of the past four seasons, and in a sense, that’s all that really matters. But on the other hand, each of the past four offseasons should have given Rays fans some amount of hope heading into the following seasons, because in each of these losing seasons (yes, even 2016) the Rays finished the season over .500 by Baseball Prospectus’ third-order winning percentage. In fact, by BP third-order winning percentage, the Rays have... Read More

Rays re-sign LHP Jonny Venters; announce seven minor league signings and Spring Training invitations

December 14th, 2017

The Tampa Bay Rays announced this morning the following minor league contracts (with an invitation to major league spring training): LHP Jonny Venters Venters continues to defy odds with his baseball career. Once among the best relievers in baseball, Venters has undergone three Tommy John surgeries and ended his 2016 season with a fourth elbow injury that did not require surgery. He returns to the Rays for his fourth season in the organization in 2018, having risen to the Triple-A level last season. This time, the signing finally comes with an invitation to major league Spring Training. Is this... Read More

Rays fortunate Nick Ciuffo survived the Rule 5 draft

December 14th, 2017

On November 6th, 2017, the Rays outrighted Curt Casali to the minors and off their 40-man roster and he subsequently elected to become a free agent and signed late with the Los Angeles Angels. On the same date, Mike McKenry and Justin O’Conner also elected to become a free agents, leaving the depth at catcher extremely thin among the top of the minors system for the Rays. Couple of catchers popping up in Rule 5 buzz: #Rays 2013 first-round pick Nick Ciuffo & #Rockies No. 15 prospect Dom Nunez. @JonathanMayo discusses. : https://t.co/6WDnCtyF5i pic.twitter.com/lvHUfWnLxF — MLB Pipeline... Read More

Bloom: Matt Duffy is ready to play

December 14th, 2017

Hot stove chatter focuses on trade and signing speculation, but one important piece of the 2018 Rays equation is already on the roster. Matt Duffy, who missed all of 2017 with a very stubborn heel injury, could be back at full strength in 2018. If he is, the Rays infield looks completely different. Chaim Bloom, for one, is optimistic. Steve Kinsella, reporting from Orlando, tweets: Matt Duffy is expected to be full go this spring. Bloom noted it was a frustration year for Duffy and #Rays “He worked his tail off. He is a tremendous guy, tremendous work ethic, we missed him this year.” Called... Read More

Tampa Bay Rays Rule 5 results 2018: Burch Smith selected; traded to the Royals

December 14th, 2017

The Rays lose a pitching prospect during the draft With the 6th overall selection in the Rule 5 Draft, the New York Mets acquired RHP Burch Smith from the Tampa Bay Rays, and have traded him to the Kansas City Royals for a PTBNL or cash considerations. Smith, 27, has some major league experience under his belt, making his debut during the 2014 season. He made 10 appearances (7 starts, 3 in relief) for the San Diego Padres that season, but was shutdown towards the end of the year with a forearm strain. The following off-season, he would be included in a trade that brought Wil Myers to San Diego,... Read More

Tampa Bay Rays news and links: Rule 5 draft today

December 14th, 2017

The Rule 5 draft starts today. Like, right now. At 9:00. The Rays have a spot open, so they could make a pick if they see a player they like. They also have several players they’re likely to lose. Read about those players here. (But do it quickly. Surely out of date by the time you’re reading this!). You can watch the Rule 5 draft live, here. Edit, 9:20: Well, actually you can’t. MLB had computer problems. No feed. But MLBTR has the updated picks. The Mets selected Burch Smith and the Rays passed. Since it’s Rule 5 draft day, it’s time for Rays fans to remember Josh Hamilton. Here’s... Read More

MLB winter meetings: Listen live to the Rule 5 Draft

December 14th, 2017

listen live as one of the most exciting events of the off-season progresses The main event of the MLB winter meetings as finally arrived as the annual Rule 5 Draft will take place at 9am this morning. The draft serves as the conclusion to the nearly week long baseball extravaganza that takes place each December, with each team packing up and heading home following the event. The Rule 5 Draft usually goes by with most clubs not bothering to make selections, whether it be do their 40-man roster already being full or just not having enough interest in any of the available players taking up a spot... Read More

Four Rays could be taken in the Rule 5 draft

December 14th, 2017

JJ Cooper comes down with Rule 5 fever every year and puts out the most comprehensive list of prospects that could be taken. The list ends up around 100 deep. Usually only about 15 are taken and of those 15 only about 25-30% of players stick with their new organization. Cooper’s list of top five prospects available include players in the Tampa Bay Rays minor league system. RHP Burch Smith Coming in at number one is right hand pitcher Burch Smith. Smith missed all of 2015 and 2016 recovering from Tommy John surgery but came back looking like the player who was once an intriguing prospect.... Read More

How the Marcell Ozuna trade impacts the Rays talks with Cardinals

December 13th, 2017

Cardinals’ acquisition of Ozuna could helps Rays’ leverage ORLANDO — The Cardinals have just acquired the Marlins’ OF Marcell Ozuna per Craig Mish: Ozuna to Cardinals is done — Craig Mish (@CraigMish) December 13, 2017 The St. Louis Cardinals have around 8 right-handed outfielders, and Danny Russell outlined the ones the Rays’ could be interested in. With the Ozuna trade, the Cardinals now have nine right-handed outfielders, and will surely be looking to unload those bats to another team. Could that team be the Rays? Possibly, it all depends on what the return is for the Marlins,... Read More

Tampa Bay Rays News and Links: Alex Colome follows St Louis Cardinals instagram account

December 13th, 2017

Colome follows Cardinals accounts, Rays make another trade with more to come, lots of former Rays things going on The winter meetings are in full force, meaning nothing is actually happening, just a lot of talk about what ifs and could haves and might be’s going on. The Tampa Bay Rays have actually been one of the most active teams as they have made two trades already and are likely progressing towards a third trade in which they’ll acquire international spending money in order to sign Jelfry Marte. However, the Rays are still looking to make moves and the most popular name of the meetings... Read More

MLB Trade Rumors: The Cardinals’ trade chips for the Rays’ Alex Colome

December 13th, 2017

The Rays need a right-handed outfielder. The Cardinals have them. From the abundance of the Instagram follows, the heart speaks. Alex Colome follows only 23 accounts on Instagram. His four latest are interesting … pic.twitter.com/RQoAZTljQb — Drew Silva (@drewsilv) December 13, 2017 If Alex Colome is indeed heading to the Cardinals, what are the Rays looking to acquire from St. Louis? Earlier this offseason, JT Morgan looked into several players on the St Louis Cardinals whom the Rays should look to acquire in any deal, with right-handed outfielders being the easy target—the Cardinals... Read More

MLB trade rumors: Rays should target speed this offseason

December 12th, 2017

Is speed the new 2%? In Kevin Cash’s press conference on Monday, a reporter asked the Rays manager what he saw going forward as an advantage. Here was his response: I think that speed is a big part of the game and I think power is kind of what everybody is paying for […] Speed doesn’t really go away. Cash also spoke very highly of Mallex Smith, saying that he “ignited us” and was looking forward to “taking of the reigns”. The same reporter followed up his question with asking Kevin Cash: “Is there room to have two speed guys in the outfield right now, or is the game too... Read More