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The Tampa Bay Rays State Of The Union For 2014

The Rays are always at the bottom for attendance in the Major Leagues, which is a shame for how successful this team has been for the last 6 years - posting 4 playoff berths and an AL Pennant.  This has all been done on a shoestring budget - and facing the toughest strength of schedule in the bigs,

The Rays are always at the bottom for attendance in the Major Leagues, which is a shame for how successful this team has been for the last 6 years – posting 4 playoff berths and an AL Pennant. This has all been done on a shoestring budget – and facing the toughest strength of schedule in the bigs.  The 2014 season will pose the same kind of challenges and problems that have arisen in the teams history.  The Rays have to contend with high payroll teams like Boston and New York fielding ALL – Star squad’s throughout their lineups.  The management has done a fantastic job to stay competitive, and will rely on their franchise depth to post yet another nice record for a 7th consecutive year.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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The Tampa Bay Rays are still one of the best run franchises in baseball, and have put themselves in a position to contend for the AL East for yet another campaign.

I hope the Rays Management decides against trading David Price in the next 2 years, and just goes for a World Series trophy.

Being the 13th biggest city, and yielding the 28th lowest payroll in the game should not be conducive to sustained success, yet there the Rays are pesky every year.

It has been noted on this website plenty, that since the beginning of 2008, the Rays have the second best record in the game to the Yankees in this time frame.

In that span, they trail the Bronx Bombers by just around 10 wins.

Wil Myers 2013 Highlights

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Tampa Bay Rays Organization: 2014 Depth Charts + Rosters, (MLB + MiLB)

Joe Maddon has a career Record of 704 - 644 (.522), but is 552 - 421 (.567) over the last 6 years  from 2008 - 2013.  He runs his offenses like the Angels used to, with a NL style built on speed and contact.  He may be the best AL Skipper when it comes to utilizing players versatility and matchups. Maddon is also great at working in Rookie players.

Joe Maddon has a career Record of 704 – 644 (.522), but is 552 – 421 (.567) over the last 6 years from 2008 – 2013. He runs his offenses like the Angels used to, with a NL style built on speed and contact. He may be the best AL Skipper when it comes to utilizing players versatility and matchups. Maddon is also great at working in Rookie players.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): & Jeff Kleiner (Org. Depth Chart Expert)

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The Tampa Rays have been the model franchise in the AL for the last 6 years.  Of course the St. Louis Cardinals club would be the team of the National League.

Besides the New York Yankees, the Tampa Bay Rays have won more games in the last 6 years.

The teams record is 552 -421 during this time span, including 4 playoff spots and 1 AL Pennant.

The key to the teams continuous consistency is their Minor League System.  From 9 years of drafting high from 1998 – 2007, to then making smart trades, the Rays have have been able to sustain their club by using the farm.

Wil Myers 2013 Highlights

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Stoking The Fire – Week 7: Bullet Version Of Free Agent Signings + Trades This Winter

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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2014 Winter Transactions

Dodgers Sign SP Dan Haren -1 YR/$10 MIL: Great Depth move for the probable 2014 NL West Division champs!

Rays Sign C Jose Molina – 2 YRs/$4.5 MIL: Great Defensive Catcher, club doesn’t spend a ton either.

Cards Sign SS/OF – Jhonny Peralta 4 YRs/$52 MIL: Hate the PED aspect of this – smart deal for Cards.

Angels Sign RP – Joe Smith 3 YRs/$15.75 MIL: The club still needs 4 more relievers and 3 starters.

Yankees Sign C – Brian McCann 5 YRs/$85 MIL (6th Year Option at $15 MIL):  Great early strike for the Bombers!

Angels and Cards Trade OF Peter Bourjos for 3B David Freese: is Jerry DiPoto high?  Fight at the trainers table next year.

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Tampa Bay Rays In Payroll 2014 + Contracts Going Forward: They Should Also Trade David Price To St. Louis For Matt Adams

David Price became a 20 game winner for the first time last season, and it won him the American League Cy Young Award. That is really hard to match, but early struggles and injuries held him back in 2013.  He was 9 - 8, with a 3.39 ERA.  Since he is due a payraise - to the $13 - $15 MIL range, it is my feeling the team should trade him for a slugging 1B.  How about Matt Adams of the Cardinals anyone?  The St. Louis team will need an ace to replace Chris Carpenter - and could bridge the gap for his few years of eligibility.

David Price became a 20 game winner for the first time last season, and it won him the American League Cy Young Award. That is really hard to match, but early struggles and injuries held him back in 2013. He was  still 9 – 8, with a 3.39 ERA. Since he is due a payraise – to the $13 – $15 MIL range in Arbitration, it is my feeling the team should trade him for a slugging 1B. How about Matt Adams of the Cardinals anyone? The St. Louis team will need an ace to replace Chris Carpenter – and could bridge the gap for the team before Free Agency eligibility in 2016.  It was too bad Hak-Ju Lee was hurt for some of 2013, as that would have been a perfect package to help bringing back another Starter.  Perhaps the Rays should use Matt Joyce also as bait?  Maybe they could a prospect Starter after all.  The team figures to be around $55 – 57 MIL before Price.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

I am of the belief that the Andrew Friedman and Stu Sternberg have been the ‘model franchise’ in the AL over the last 6 years. 

Not only do they compete in the vaunted AL East versus the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, but they have made the playoffs 4 times in that span, including a World Series Loss to the Philadelphia in the 2008 year. 

Had Evan Longoria not been hurt for the majority of the 2012 season, one could argue that the club was poised to make another playoff appearance to make it 6. 

So how are they doing this?  Their team payroll is roughly one-third of the Yankees and the 40 % of the Red Sox total Payroll. 

The Rays are smart enough to let their higher priced Free Agents walk, or even trading them before they are due significant pay raises. 

They are also using the philosophy of the ‘John Hart‘ Indians of the Pre-Milennium Cleveland Indians.  Once it was established that Evan Longoria could play at the MLB Level, they signed him to an 8 year contract. 

They did the same thing with Starting Pitching Matt Moore last year with a 5 year deal for the rookie based on one playoffs of decent pitching. 

It is a risk sometimes to do this, yet the rewards can save you Millions in future payroll if the new player (s) outperforms his/their contract (s).

Rays Highlights 2013:

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How All Of The Tampa Bay Rays Hitters Were Acquired

Tuesday July.16/2013

 Evan Longoria is signed through the year 2023. He was earmarked as the 'franchise player' - and locked up early into his career.  His deal will earn him $145 MIL over the course of 15 years worth of service.

Evan Longoria is signed through the year 2023. He was earmarked as the ‘franchise player’ – and locked up early into his career. His deal will earn him $145 MIL over the course of 15 years worth of service.  He was Drafted 3rd overall in the 2006 Amateur Draft.

How All Of The Tampa Bay Rays Hitters Were Acquired:

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

At the MLB Reports, we intend to show you the Roster Tree for the Tampa Rays – and how they assembled their current roster for hitting and Pitching.  It will work in a six degrees of separation like format.

Once we figure out the origin of how many trades going back in time it takes to see where the tree started, it will be time to dissect how the team fared on the deals.

If a player has never left the organization at all, the tree will be easy – as it will just be the year they were drafted or signed.

Evan Longoria‘s incredible Bare Hand Catch During An Interview:

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Tampa Bay Rays Organization: 2013 Team Payroll, Depth Charts + Rosters, (MLB + MiLB)

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Thursday, June.20/2013

The Rays had a horrible string of seasons from 1998 - 2007 in terms of Won - Loss Record.  Because of their futile showings, they were able to draft high.  Since 2008, they have posted a winning record every season since, have made the playoffs 3 times, and have turned over the Roster several times.  They are competitive, cost effective and play in the vaunted AL East with powerhouse teams like the Yankees and Red Sox

The Rays had a horrible string of seasons from 1998 – 2007 in terms of Won – Loss Record. Because of their futile showings, they were able to draft high. Since 2008, they have posted a winning record every season since, have made the playoffs 3 times, and have turned over the Roster several times. They are competitive, cost effective and play in the vaunted AL East with powerhouse teams like the Yankees and Red Sox.  The brass of the organization has done a commendable job.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): and welcome Jeff Kleiner (Salary, Roster and Depth Chart Expert for the MLB) – visit his website  here  

You guys are all in for a treat.  Jeff Kleiner recently contacted me about a partnership merge for the website.  He has developed a site (prosportsrosters.com) that covers all organizational affiliates in the Minors for all of the Major League Baseball Clubs.  We are going to combine efforts to bring you the best look at salaries, current 25 Man Player Rosters and Depth Charts for all 30 teams. 

Jeff is going to provide the documents in form of spreadsheets and I am going to accompany the posts with deep analysis of what the numbers tell us from my perspective.  If you can’t wait for all of my assessments for each club, go and visit Jeff’s website over at http://www.prosportsrosters.com.

In Speaking with Jeff, he is one of the more passionate fans I have come across towards the game of baseball.  He spends enough time in updating his MLB Facts for it to be a Full-Time Job.  So after the usual Video Clip and READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY button, you will find some serious &*!@?!#!

Jeff updates this page below on a daily basis.  After you click on it….Bookmark it.  There is a 3 year salary forecast and stats not listed here on this page.  Jeff updates these pages daily and these changes include any Roster moves!

For a Full 3 year Salary Outlook plus last years Stats for every player in the Rays Organization click here

David Price 2012 Highlights – Rays Song:

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – May 12, 2013

hmdwateringcan-2

On today’s episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast, I honor baseball mothers, especially the mom who produced the three Molina brothers and also the Waner brothers.

I also wonder if there are superstitions that foil someone trying to hit for the cycle.

Mark Buehrle, Jose Tabata, Adam Wainwright and Justin Morneau owned baseball on May 11, 2013.

To see the up to date tally of “Who Owns Baseball?,” click HERE.

Subscribe on iTunes HERE.

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – May 12, 2013

 

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Tampa Bay Rays Player Roster In 2013 Part 1 – The Hitters: State Of The Union

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Sunday, Mar.03/2013

Ben Zobrist has quietly tuned into one of the best all around players in the game.  He has finished in the top for WAR in 3 of the 4 years - including 1st in 2011 and 2nd in 2009.  At Age 31, Zobrist goes into a contract year.

Ben Zobrist has quietly turned into one of the best all around players in the game. He has finished in the top 10 for WAR in 3 of the last 4 years – including 1st in 2011 and 2nd in 2009. At Age 31, Zobrist goes into a contract year in 2013.  It may be his last season with TB.

By Jake Bullington (Rays Correspondent)

Part 1: The hitters:

2012 saw the Tampa Bay Rays miss the playoffs for the first time since 2009. They would finish a very respectable 90-win season and finish third in the AL Wild card. The offseason saw much of what Rays fans are used to from this small market club. Impact players such as B.J. Upton (ATL), Jeff Keppinger (CHW),  and Carlos Pena (HOU),  would move on to greener pastures and sign elsewhere. That meant GM Andrew Friedman and his team would get to work. They would pick up options on SP James Shields, CL Fernando Rodney, and C Jose Molina. They would decline the option on DH Luke Scott and later sign him back.

The offseason would also see the reworking of a long-term deal to keep the Rays 3B Evan Longoria in a Rays uniform at least through the 2022 season. But with Free Agency looming for “Big Game” James the Rays would do what they do best and send Shields, Wade Davis, and a PTBNL (Elliot Johnson) to the Royals for a prospect package that included future rotation regulars Mike Montgomery and Jake Odorizzi and MLB.com 2nd best prospect OF Wil Myers. The Rays would shore up the middle of the infield by Signing and trading for the Blue Jays previous middle infield of Yunel Escobar (MIA) and Kelly Johnson (FA). To replace Carlos Pena, the Rays would sign Free Agent James Loney.   The organization also brought back Joel Peralta on a deal that included a record three Club Options.

Desmond Jennings Highlights:

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Tampa Bay Rays Payroll 2013 And Contracts Going Forward: Part 4 Of A 5 Part Rays Series

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Sunday Mar.03/2013

Will ascended onto the PCL scene last year and ripped out 24 HRs in just 99 Games at Omaha.  The Rays will be counting on him for their offensive future

Will Myers ascended onto the PCL scene last year and ripped out 24 HRs in just 99 Games at Omaha. The Rays will be counting on him for their offensive future.  As a Controllable Player for years, he changes the Salary structure of the Team to Lower the committed dollars from what Shields and Davis would have made.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

New Changes to the old article in Purple: 

I am of the belief that the Andrew Friedman and Stu Sternberg have been the ‘model franchise’ in the MLB over the last 5 years.  Not only do they compete in the vaunted AL East versus the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, but they have made the playoffs 3 times in that span, including a World Series Loss to the Philadelphia in the 2008 year.  Had Evan Longoria not been hurt for the majority of the season, one could argue that the club was poised to make another playoff appearance.  So how are they doing this?  Their team payroll is roughly one-third of the Yankees and the 40 % of the Red Sox total Payroll.  The Rays are smart enough to let their higher priced Free Agents walk, or even trading them before they are due significant pay raises. 

They are also using the philosophy of the ‘John Hart‘ Indians of the Pre-Milennium Cleveland Indians.  Once it was established that Evan Longoria could play at the MLB Level, they signed him to an 8 year contract.  They did the same thing with Starting Pitching Matt Moore last year with a 5 year deal for the rookie based on one playoffs of decent pitching.  It is a risk sometimes to do this, yet the rewards can save you Millions in future payroll if they player outperforms his contract.

Rays Highlights 2012 Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance Is advised:

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2013 WBC Group C Preview

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Sunday, February 24th, 2013

Miggy Cabrera will take his talents to the WBC starting on Mar.2

Miggy Cabrera will take his talents to the WBC (for Team Venezuela starting on Mar.2.

By Sam Evans (Baseball Writer): 

Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and Spain have produced some of the most talented baseball players in the world. All four of these countries will be will represented in Group C of the WBC starting on March 7th in Puerto Rico. From Miguel Cabrera to Robinson Cano, this division is filled with popular MLB superstars. Even though the Dominican Republic and Venezuela appear to be early favorites to advance from this division, don’t count out Puerto Rico or Spain to make a run at qualifying for the next round.

World Baseball Classic–Venezuela Vs Puerto Rico–Alejandro Toca Cuatro:

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Billy Beane Found His Catcher in Seattle: John Jaso is Ready to Lead the A’s Back to the Playoffs

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Sunday January 20th, 2013

A .372 OBP in 2010. A .394 OBP last season. Can you blame Billy Beane for LOVING John Jaso?

A .372 OBP in 2010. A .394 OBP last season. Can you blame Billy Beane for LOVING John Jaso?

Jonathan Hacohen  (Lead Baseball Columnist, Oakland A’s Correspondent and Website Founder):  

My name is Jonathan Hacohen. And I am a John Jaso fan. There…I have said it. Feels very good to get it out. Ok, so I don’t own any John Jaso t-shirts or jerseys. I wouldn’t recognize him if I hit him with my car. But when #27 (formerly #28 on the Rays) comes up to bat, I know that good things will usually happen. Remember that .372 OBP in 2010? I sure do. So do many Tampa Bay Rays fans. For you see my friends, John Jaso is a special breed of baseball player. He is a catcher with patience. He won’t hit for great pop, but he finds ways to get On Base. That is a skill that served him very well back in his aforementioned first full MLB season.

From that season on, I came to expect great things from Mr. Jaso. But then 2011 hit. Or actually, he didn’t. A .224 AVG with a .298 OBP was good enough for the Rays to dump Jaso on the Mariners for Josh Lueke. Remember him? Do I really have to say more? The Rays, for all the talk of their poor offensive showing and need for major league bats, decided that John Jaso just didn’t fit into their system. So Jaso was off to Seattle and Jose Molina was brought on board. The same Jose Molina who hit .223 last season with a .286 OBP. The same Jose Molina who got paid $1.5 Million last season. John Jaso on the other hand got paid $495,200 last year. What did he do? Only hit .276 with a .394 OBP. Plus a .456 SLG for good measure. His reward? A one-way ticket to Oakland with a 30 second stopover in Washington. The man can’t win. A good or bad season, either way MLB GM haven’t shown faith in this kid so far in his career. But then, most GMs are not Billy Beane. Despite being apparently set at the position for 2013, Beane proceeded to trade for Jaso and dump George Kottaras, to catch with Derek Norris. Beane said on record that he would have kept Kottaras unless Jaso was made available. So does Billy Beane know something that Andrew Friedman, Jack Zduriencik and Mike Rizzo don’t? The answer is yes. Beane knows which players he wants and usually, he will get them at the end. Now John Jaso is set to bring flair, leadership and of course, On Base skills to Oakland. The playoff picture just got much rosier for the A’s. 


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The Rays Trade And Draft Record Is Impressive: However Most Of The Best Players Are Now Ex-Rays

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Tuesday, January.08/2013

The Rays Management has been a lot better under the tutelage of the these 3 gentleman.  It is too bad that cant secure an MLB Park with the amount of revenue to pay their great players once they become great.

The Rays Management has been a lot better under the tutelage of the these 3 gentleman. It is too bad that cant secure an MLB Park with the amount of revenue to pay their great players once they become great.

By Jake Bullington (Rays Correspondent)

The Tampa Bay Rays have had a great history of producing great MLB talent ever since the current regime of Stu Sternberg, Matt Silverman, Andrew Friedman, and Joe Maddon took over. Their system, is to build talent up in hopes to sign to club friendly long-term deals and have them produce until the price tag becomes just too high and then get the next era in from trades .When it comes to pitching however its a whole new ball game. The Rays have an unmatched system for finding pieces from all over and putting them into a mix that at best could be described as ” an Island of misfit toys” but it works. If you take a look at the Rays bullpen the last couple years you see a couple of guys stand out that really had no place anywhere else. 

In 2008, Grant Balfour became what no body thought he was, a great pitcher. In 2008 Balfour went 6-2 in 51 games with a 1.54 ERA and a staggering .89 WHIP. Balfour was signed that season for just above the league minimum at $500,000. Balfour would go onto to Oakland a few years later and signed for a little over 3 Million Dollars.

B.J. Upton Highlights – Parental Guidance is advised

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ATR: Ask the Reports Answers Your Baseball Questions: Yadier for NL MVP, Wild Card Rosters, USA in WBC 2013, Triple Crown for Miggy and Scioscia to Boston?

Sunday September 30th, 2012



Posted every Weekend: Your top baseball questions from the past week are answered. E-mail all questions to mlbreports@gmail.com, message us on Twitter, post on our Facebook Wall and leave comments on our website! There are many ways to reach us and we will get to your questions from all social media outlets! We love to hear from you- so keep the questions coming every week!

Jonathan Hacohen: I am going to channel some Jose Canseco right now. No- I don’t think that I can travel to the future. Or that everyone is out to get me. But I want to send a message to the “haters”. You know who you are. The so-called baseball traditionalists that cry every time our great sport makes any kind of adjustment. Every time there is realignment, relocation, expanded rosters, playoffs…the haters scream to the heavens. They say: leave the game alone! While I love the game the way it is, without a doubt, I still feel the need for improvements. But I take them on case by case basis.  The designated hitter? I say abolish the whole thing and go back to pitchers hitting in both leagues. I love the NL style of play, with real in-game decisions and strategies. But maybe that’s just me. While I may want to go back in time when it comes to the DH, I definitely look to the future on many subjects. For interleague play (assuming DH stays), I would play NL rules in AL parks and vice versa. Let’s mix it up! I say let’s increase rosters- up to 28-30 players per team. Poor attendance teams? Relocate. Expand by 2 teams to bring an even 16/16 split between leagues. From there, completely realign into 4 divisions of 4 teams each. And so the possibility of changes in baseball is endless.

Keeping that in mind, I come to a very hotly contested topic in baseball circles these days:  the Wild Card. Originally set up as one Wild Card team per league, this year we have expanded to two Wild Card spots per league. Coming up on October 5th, we will see the first ever sudden death one game Wild Card playoffs. Haters simply despise these upcoming games. Is it too much change? Is it unfair to the integrity of the game and the playoffs? We could debate that one for weeks…nay… months…nay… years.  But I will tell you this. If you take a look at the MLB standings as they are today, let’s reason the value of the Wild Card spots. In the NL for the last two weeks or so (more), it was a foregone conclusion that the Reds, Giants and Nats were taking the division crowns. Where would that have left the Braves? Cardinals? Dodgers? Brewers? Heck…even the Phillies and Pirates. Having the Wild Cards in place allowed fans for all those cities to remain interested and excited about baseball for weeks while their teams competing for Wild Card positions. No Wild Cards would equal many teams that would have been out of it long ago. Is that good for the game? To have fans in so many cities turned off from the game in August when they know the playoffs aren’t an option? I’m not so sure about that.

In the AL, the Orioles and A’s all still have a chance at division leads. The Angels and Rays still are very much in the playoff hunt. But no Wild Cards….would mean so many of those teams would not have had much of a shot. Unless we see total collapses, most are expecting the A’s and Orioles to face off in the Wild Card game. Considering how both have played, would you want to miss that one? Can you imagine if October came and the Braves, A’s and Orioles were not competing for a playoff position? Me neither. When I think about what we would lose by having so many of these teams going home if the Wild Card spots didn’t exist I shudder. I am not saying we should blow up the game. But before criticizing change just because its different, think about the pros and cons of the move. In this case, I say thumbs up to the extra Wild Card games. If you don’t believe me, check out the games on October 5th. They will be some of the best baseball that you will ever watch. That I guarantee.

Now let’s get to your top questions of the week: Read the rest of this entry

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