Rays won't necessarily trade from pitching depth
Wrapping up a season they felt ended too early, Rays executive VP Andrew Friedman and manager Joe Maddon didn't have many details at Thursday's media session.
No set payroll figure for next season. No specifics on which positions they will seek to address. No decisions on which free agents they will seek to retain. No announcements on the fate of the coaches (who are all under contract through 2013).
And defintitely no commitment to trade from their pitching depth,
"We said this last year and I think people thought we were just playing the market a little bit,'' Friedman said. "But we’re not going to be flippant about our pitching depth in that it’s everything to us to have five really good starting pitchers with the requisite depth behind it. Obviously if something lines up that makes sense, that makes us better, we’re going to do it. But if it doesn’t we’re not going to say, hey, we have this pitching depth and we just need to do it just to do it.””
He cited the contributions of Wade Davis out of the bullpen and Alex Cobb and Chris Archer after being called up from the minors.
“We ended up relying pretty heavily on all these guys and anticipate that we will going forward,'' Friedman said. "If we have a situation where we have all five starters make all their starts next year, that’s tremendous, but its absolutely not something we can count on.’’
Among other things:
* Closer Fernando Rodney's cap - presumably turned to the left - will be sent to the Hall of Fame after he broke Dennis Eckersley's all-time reliever record with a 0.60 ERA.
* Maddon said he felt the coaches did "a great job" but couldn't speak to their future until he and Friedman had their usual end of season discussions.
* The team raised $43,700 from the Shirts Off Our Back promotion benefitting the Rays Baseball Foundation and the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association Educational Foundation.
* Friedman said he expected to talk with Larry Reynolds, the agent for free-agent-to-be CF B.J. Upton and didn't want to speak to their chances of keeping him, but called Wednesday's potential farewell "an extremely touching and emotional moment."