April 6, 2012; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg talks to the media prior to the game against the New York Yankees at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Rays Notes: Sternberg, Rays Talk Stadium, Luke Scott Talks Returning


Two weeks ago, the developer CityScape presented a proposal for a new Rays stadium in the Carillon business park in St. Petersburg, and then St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster asked the Rays to meet with him regarding the Rays’ interest in that plan. Stuart Sternberg and the Rays have now responded to Foster. In a letter from Sternberg to Foster, the Rays have asked Foster to amend the Rays’ lease of Tropicana Field to allow the Rays to negotiate with potential stadium proposals not only in Pinellas County but in Hillsborough County as well with two conditions- 1) the Rays would begin their stadium search by negotiating with CityScape and 2) Pinellas County would have veto power over any final decision for the Rays’ next stadium site. Those conditions would allow the Rays to survey their options, but the Pinellas County Board would presumably veto any potential stadium outside their county and the Rays’ stadium search would still be centered in Pinellas County, specifically with the Carillon proposal. The Rays are willing to compromise and a new Rays stadium plan could finally be put into place over the next year or two if Foster and the Pinellas County Board agree to the Rays’ amendment of the lease. It sounds perfectly fair as it gives the Rays the ability to pursue all possible options but Pinellas County still has the power over the final position. Hopefully Foster and the Pinellas County Board will aprove Sternberg’s request and real progress on a new Rays stadium will happen before we know it.

Luke Scott would like to be back in Tampa Bay next season. Talking to Bill Chastain of the Rays’ official site, Scott had this to say.

“…I feel good about next year. I feel good that I’ll have a chance to heal up, get my shoulder back into shape. Start chopping some wood again and come back stronger than ever.”

“It’s a great organization,” Scott said. “Get to play in my home state, great group of guys here. The environment is awesome. It’s just a great place to play. I really enjoyed my time here. I hope they’ll have me back.”

Andrew Friedman also talked about Scott’s season.
“Luke was coming off of major surgery,” Friedman said. “We understood the risks coming in. He really scuffled in the first half. In the second half he had the type of output that we kind of anticipated if things went well and lined up well.”
Scott is definitely a candidate for a bounce-back year next season with his shoulder completely healthy, but the major problem is that Scott’s option for next season is worth 6 million dollars, not exactly chump chance, with a 1 million dollar buyout clause. The Rays will not be opposed to bringing Scott back, but they’ll almost certainly decline that option and try to negotiate a lesser deal.

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