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Tampa Bay Rays: GM Simulation Recap

By Austin Reimann
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 05: Andrew McCutchen #26 of the New York Yankees singles in the seventh inning against the Boston Red Sox in Game One of the American League Division Series at Fenway Park on October 5, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 05: Andrew McCutchen #26 of the New York Yankees singles in the seventh inning against the Boston Red Sox in Game One of the American League Division Series at Fenway Park on October 5, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images) /
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Over the past 3 days I have acted as the Tampa Bay Rays GM. Over the course of the simulation, I tried to act according to the Rays likely offseason plan. Making a total of 3 trades and 2 signings, it was a very productive fake offseason.

First, a recap of the lone move I made on Friday. After trading Guillermo Heredia away and then flipping Nomar Mazara in a separate trade, the fake Tampa Bay Rays were in need of a fourth outfielder. With the lack of a bona-fide DH option, I wanted to target a 4th outfielder who could DH when he isn’t in the field.

On Friday, I signed Andrew McCutchen to a 2 year, 16 million dollar deal. The former MVP and 5 time All-Star can play any of the outfield positions and possesses some pop, hitting at least 20 bombs every season since 2011. McCutchen adds depth defensively which is important with Kiermaier’s proneness to injury. He also gives the Rays a DH option when he isn’t playing the field.

Austin Meadows, Tommy Pham, and Andrew McCutchen all possess the ability to DH and if the real Rays actually sign McCutchen, we could see them rotate between all three outfielders, allowing each a day off their feet every couple of days. 2018 was a down year for McCutchen offensively which allowed me to grab him at a price that the real Rays would be comfortable with.

Final 25-man roster after 3 day simulation.

SP: 

LHP, Blake Snell

RHP, Tyler Glasnow

RHP, Trevor Cahill, Signed a 2 year deal worth 12 million dollars.

RHP, Jon Gray, Acquired in trade with Rockies for C.J. Cron.

Bulk:

LHP, Ryan Yarbrough

RHP, Yonny Chirinos

Bullpen:

RHP, Jose Leclerc, Acquired in trade with Texas for Matt Duffy, Guillermo Heredia, prospect

LHP, Jose Alvarado

RHP, Diego Castillo

RHP, Chaz Roe

RHP, Ryne Stanek

LHP, Colin Poche

LHP, Jalen Beeks

OF:

LHH, CF, Kevin Kiermaier

RHH, LF, Tommy Pham

LHH, RF, Austin Meadows

RHH, OF/DH, Andrew McCutchen, Signed a 2 year deal worth 16 million dollars.

IF:

RHH, 1B, Jose Abreu, Acquired in trade with Chicago for Nomar Mazara(Texas Trade) and prospect

LHH, 1B, Jake Bauers

LHH, 2B, Joey Wendle

LHH, U, Brandon Lowe

RHH, SS, Willy Adames

RHH, 3B, Daniel Robertson

C:

RHH, Mike Zunino

LHH, Michael Perez

Although this was just a simulation, I would be very excited if this is the team that the Tampa Bay Rays begin 2019 with. I added power with the addition of Jose Abreu and upgraded the outfield depth with the Andrew McCutchen signing. Moving on from Matt Duffy also will allow Daniel Robertson to bloom into the everyday player that we got glimpses of in 2018.

As for the rotation, Cahill will add stability and a veteran presence and if Jon Gray were to experience a resurgence, the Rays would be putting forward a very formidable staff. And I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to add the stud right hander, Jose Leclerc, to an already talented bullpen as the Rays look towards greener pastures in 2019.

Financially, the fake Rays spent 28 million in free agency and took on Jose Abreu’s projected 16 million dollars. In taking on Leclerc and Gray’s projected salaries, and losing Duffy, Heredia, and Cron’s projected salaries, the difference is minimal. The Rays had money to spend, so I spent (roughly 35 million), but I spent with control, not reckless abandonment.

Prior to any of the fake trades and free agent signings that I made over the past three days, the Tampa Bay Rays were already in a position to succeed, but there was room for improvement and I believed that the fake Rays improved.

Overall, after 3 days of trade negotiations and free agent signings, I must give props to Erik Neander and Chaim Bloom for doing what they do on a daily basis. It was hectic at times, but all in all it was a fun and rewarding experience.

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I hope you enjoyed reading along regarding my first experience as the “GM” of the Rays over the past three days, thanks for following.

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