Rays Notes: Price, Jennings, Boxberger, and More

By Mat Germain

The Rays are facing many decisions as they head towards the winter meetings, including trade chatter, free agent picks ups, and arbitration issues.

Right before we head to the Winter meetings, we get to enjoy the side show that is the arbitration period. It’s sort of like the calm before the storm, as it’s the last hurdle GMs face before they head to the meetings and attempt to sort out what the trade and free agent markets look like. It’s always an entertaining time as we get to pause and ponder whether players are a fit as they become “reportedly available” on the trade market.

As Rays President Matt Silverman recently stated:

"“Once we get past this roster deadline it tends to free up clubs to explore more conversations, whether they are free agent or trade conversations, and so I expect those will pick up after the Thanksgiving holiday as we head into the winter meetings,”"

Well, that time is now folks, so expect to see some action soon! With that in mind, here’s a rundown of the most recent Rays notes:

David Price and the A.L. East

David Price stays in A.L. East, going to his 3rd team within the division. My thoughts on this deal are that the Red Sox immediately find the ace they coveted, but also that their fortunes will now be held to his health. If he fails to live through his contract – as so many others have fails to do after signing huge contracts – it could restrict what the Red Sox can afford going forward. Just ask the Yankees. Still, it’s yet another beast for the Rays to battle in the division as the road to the playoffs continues to get harder to navigate through. It’s hard to fathom the contract he got since it approximately encompasses the entire Rays team’s value over a 3-year period.

What are your thoughts on the deal? How much harder will the Red Sox be to beat in 2016?


Bill Chastain of MLB.com provides us with his take on this year’s eligibles, stating that he sees the Rays agreeing to terms with all of their arbitration eligible players.

The Bullpen

Marc Topkin covered off the bullpen in this recent article. I am a huge fan of the moves made so far, and I’ll expand on that later this week with an in-depth look at how the pen looks now.

Trade Chatter and Brad Boxberger

Before anybody begins talking about bringing in either Chris Carter or Jake Marisnick, I vote no. The Rays have better, younger, and cheaper options in-house and wouldn’t be upgrading at all by targeting either player. Give me Mikie Mahtook over Marisnick and Richie Shaffer over Carter every day of the week.

The Rays player mentioned most often in trade talks so far is Closer Brad Boxberger. It’s an odd offering since Box isn’t eligible for arbitration until 2017 and is therefore an affordable closer for the Rays. The again, the cost is what makes him more attractive to teams that don’t want to pay premium dollars for Aroldis Chapman or others. With that in mind, our last thought…..

Next: Tampa Bay Rays Top 50 Prospects: #30 Patrick Leonard

Trade Option and Crazy Thought

It would be interesting to see if the Brewers get involved and offer up Adam Lind in a deal. As Marc Topkin mentioned, the Rays may be willing to ear some of what they owe to James Loney, and a platoon of Lind (.291/.380/.503 vs RHB) and a player who mashes LHP (Mike Napoli? .278/.391/.563) would be a potent beast at 1B. Just a thought, as far-fetched as it is.