Nick Cafardo wrote today that the Rays could accelerate a BJ Upton trade for a shortstop after the recent signing. Marc Topkin, on the other hand, seems to think the Rays will stand pat, except for maybe adding a right handed bench bat. I seem to agree with Topkin. If the Rays enter the season with this roster, they have a very good chance of winning.
A platoon of Sean Rodriguez and Reid Brignac has a chance to produce, considering S-Rod can be good against lefties and Brignac can be good against righties. Together, you could have a decent hitting combo at short. As for the catcher spot, which Cafardo also brings up, I think that is a bit more shaky, but still fine. Jose Molina has never been a great hitter, but has great defense and pitch calling. Robinson Chirinos and Jose Lobaton will take some of the starts from Molina, but we don’t really know what to expect from them. Both spent some time at the big league level, but neither spent enough time with the Rays to really tell whether they will be good.
Rays News and Notes
- In his same Sunday news piece, Marc Topkin gave his reasons for the Rays spending spree. As of now, the Rays Opening Day payroll will be around $20 million more than last year. A big difference, but every move so far has been a good one.
- John Romano writes about the recent comments of Mayor Bill Foster following his meeting with Stu Sternberg earlier this week. He talks about how the Rays attendance is lackluster, but there doesn’t seem to be any direction the talks are moving in. What has me miffed is that all the talk in the over-hyped Foster-Sternberg meeting seems to have been about the present when our real problems seem to be the unknown future.
- Scott Miller of CBS writes that the Carlos Pena and Luke Scott deals were great for the Rays. He writes how these two moves matched with the rotation I talked about earlier today could take the Rays deep into the postseason.
- Joel Sherman tweets that the Rays had $6 million budgeted for Carlos Pena but upped it to $7.25-the price of the contract- when Victor Martinez went down earlier this week. Chances are slim that the Tigers would have actually signed Pena since they already have Miguel Cabrera at first, but the Rays had to be sure they got their man.
- The genius that is David Schoenfield gives his Rays lineup prediction. Based on what I saw earlier today, it is no surprise that the lineup is a mess. He has Ben Zobrist batting third as well as Matt Joyce and Brandon Guyer platooning. I can assure you Evan Longoria will bat third this year. I can also say for certain the Rays are not paying Carlos Pena $7.25 million to platoon with Russ Canzler, as Schoenfield suggests. They just don’t have enough money to spend on a platoon guy. Joyce could platoon eventually, but I at least see him getting the chance to play every day at the start.