Thursday was the fourth and final day of the Winter Meetings and also the biggest. Arguably the two best free agents in their respective positions found new homes in Anaheim in Albert Pujols and CJ Wilson. As Robbie mentioned earlier, the day also saw the Rule 5 draft in which the Rays lost two players. Here is a recap of the final day of the 2011 Winter Meetings in Dallas.
- Marc Topkin wrote about the two players the Rays lost in the Rule 5 draft. Also, Robbie wrote about the Rule 5 earlier, providing a statistical look at the draft.
- Jon Heyman tweeted yesterday that the Rays may be interested in Ivan Rodriguez, who is working out in Miami. I would assume Pudge can still catch if they were to sign him, and he would go into splitting time with Jose Molina behind the plate and maybe seeing some time at DH. It would be a great move to have a guy like Pudge around for the Rays young pitching staff, so we will see if anything happens.
- Also from Jon Heyman, the Rays are open minded on listening to trade requests, even on guys like James Shields and Jeremy Hellickson. He also said the Rays would be expecting large returns, like half of the minor league system of the team. I doubt the Rays will trade either of those two, but I could easily see Jeff Niemann or Wade Davis in another uniform by the start of the season.
- And finally on an ex-Ray note, Troy Renck tweeted that Mike Ekstrom is expected to sign a minor league deal with the Rockies. Ekstrom was unimpressive in his time with the Rays, struggling at the Big League level.