Rays Notes: Rays in MVP Vote, How Marlins Affect Rays Stadium Talks, Rays Covet Wil Myers?
By Robbie Knopf
The 2012 Most Valuable Players awards and the NL award passed without much controversy as Buster Posey rolled to the MVP. In the AL, though, there was a heated debate between Miguel Cabrera and Mike Trout, with Cabrera having the offensive edge, winning the Triple Crown but lagging far behind Trout in defense and baserunning, but the Triple Crown proved to be enough for the voters to name Cabrera the winner by a wide margin, giving Cabrera 22 MVP votes to Trout’s 6. Cabrera and Trout easily lapped the field in the AL MVP running, but three Rays did receive votes. David Price, who won the Cy Young the other day, finished 12th with 26 points, including a third place vote, the highest vote any pitcher received- although Cy Young runner-up Justin Verlander finished 8th in the voting with 58 points. Fernando Rodney finished right behind Price at 13th with 24 points, and Ben Zobrist finished 18th with 7 points. Evan Longoria did not receive MVP votes, the first time that has happened in his MLB career. Congrats to the Rays who received votes, and on the heels of Price being the first Rays player to win the Cy Young Award, hopefully the Rays’ first MVP is not far away.
The blockbuster trade in which the Marlins traded the core of their team to the Toronto Blue Jays caused Rays fans to rip the Marlins and especially their owner, Jeffrey Loria, incessantly (like I did here). Unfortunately, though, the Marlins’ actions will have an adverse affect on the Rays as well. Gary Shelton of the Tampa Bay Times talked about how the Marlins’ trade of Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, and Mark Buehrle to the Blue Jays just a year after getting a new stadium will only make it more difficult for the Rays to get a new stadium in Pinellas or Hillsborough County with the added concern of the Rays pulling off a Marlins-esque fire sale and betraying the area after getting their new stadium. It’s something that the Rays have never done and will likely never do- their strategy is to win as much as they can in the short-term while continuing to build for the future, and a fire sale goes straight against that- but now it’s just another factor to consider. The airports didn’t make people take off their shoes for security until someone hid a bomb in their shoes. Bill Foster, the St. Pete Council, and everyone involved in these stadium talks didn’t even consider the possibility of the Rays pulling off a stunt like this until Loria and the Marlins just did it. The stadium talks are already stalled because the Rays and St. Petersburg, and this will only make discussions less likely to amount to anything. Hopefully the Rays can overcome this- as Shelton points out, Stuart Sternberg has a much better reputation than Loria- but things are getting increasingly dire in these stadium talks.
We’ve talked ad nauseum here at RCG about a possible trade between the Rays and Royals, and the trade scenarios are interesting albeit unlikely to happen. That remains the case, but Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports that the Rays are particularly interested in Royals top outfield prospect Wil Myers in a possible trade. That actually may make a trade even less likely because Myers is an incredibly talented prospect coming off a huge season in 2012 as a 21 year old between Double-A and Triple-A, posting a .314/.387/.600 line with 26 doubles, 6 triples, 37 homers, and 109 RBI in 134 games and 591 plate appearances. Myers does have some risk involved with him- he did strike out 140 times versus just 61 walks in 2012- but he has the ability to be a major part of the Royals’ future and he’s not a player they want to trade by any stretch. If a Rays-Royals blockbuster does happen, it would likely be because the Royals decide that they so desperately need pitching that parting with Myers would be the right move, but the chances of that happening are slim.