- Bill Chastain of MLB.com answered some questions about the Rays that were placed on the teams website yesterday. With the Hot Stove cooling down to a more reasonable temperature, at least in regards to the Rays, there isn’t much to report to you guys. Some of these are solid questions that any fan might have, so I’ll provide you with the link and a quick blurb.
What do you think about the acquisition of Rafael Soriano? Is he the answer for improving the bullpen?
— John S., Tampa
"Who knows if Soriano is the answer, but you’ve got to say he’s a good start. Rays fans should view the Soriano deal in a positive light on several levels. First, Andrew Friedman did some nice wheeling and dealing to trade Akinori Iwamura to the Pirates for right-hander Jesse Chavez. By doing so the Rays avoided giving Iwamura a large salary bump, and they did not have to pay the buyout for not renewing his option. So they basically acquired Soriano for Iwamura. While many Rays fans liked Iwamura, the Rays have plenty of candidates for second base, and they really needed a closer. Second, Soriano will be the guy to pitch the ninth inning, no questions asked, which means everyone in the bullpen moves down a notch in the pecking order. The bullpen roles should be well-defined this season as opposed to the match-up bullpen that had mixed results in 2009. Finally, by acquiring Soriano and signing him for $7.25 million, the team’s ownership seems to be saying “bring it on” for the upcoming season. The team wants to win and now."
You can check out the rest of the questions from fans right here.
- A quick blurb on the non-roster invitees to Spring Training.
- Jack Cust, really?
- The Rays interest in Kelvim Escobar is well documented at this point. Here are the numbers from the throwing session, via DRaysBay.