The Rays’ stadium situation is getting continuously more tense. Sunday in the Tampa Bay Times, Stephen Nohlgren and Mark Puente talked with members of the St. Petersburg council regarding the Rays’ proposal for an amendment to the Tropicana Field lease that would allow the Rays to negotiate with sites in Hillsborough County in addition to Pinellas County on the condition that they would start their negotiations with the Carillon proposal by CityScape and give St. Petersburg the right to veto any final site. According to the people Nohlgren and Puente talked to, some council members liked the idea because they want stadium talks to progress and because they think the Carillon stadium plan can stack up against any stadium proposal out there, but overall, the council wanted the Rays to negotiate exclusively with CityScape, something the Rays will certainly not do right off the bat. The biggest concern about the Rays’ proposed amendment is that it might weaken St. Pete’s potential lawsuit for “irreparable harm” based on the Tropicana Field contract Vince Naimoli signed with them. Hillsborough County chairman Ken Hagan responded on WTFS-TV that the Rays will not stay at the Trop until 2027 and the main priority is to not see them become the “Charlotte Rays, or the Las Vegas Rays, or the San Antonio Rays.” Everyone’s worst nightmare is to see the Rays leave Tampa Bay. The councils of Pinellas and Hillborough Counties need to find some way to work this out with the Rays and facilitate the process of getting the new stadium they desperately need before it’s too late.
In an Insider-only article, Buster Olney talked about players set to cash in as free agents this coming offseason. B.J. Upton unsurprisingly made the list at #6. More alarming is that Joel Peralta was #4. The Rays need the offers for Peralta to not get too crazy at all or there’s no chance he’ll return. The Rays without him would still have a talented bullpen, but Peralta has been excellent as a veteran presence that the Rays lack beyond Fernando Rodney and Peralta wants to come back. Hopefully the bidding for Peralta stays within the Rays’ limits and we’ll see him back in a Rays uniform in 2013.