Winter meetings update: Friedman has "extremely productive" day
The Rays didn't make any actual moves on Monday's first day of the winter meetings aside from agreeing on a 2011 salary with Dan Johnson to avoid arbitration, but it sounds like they are positioning themselves for some action before the end of the week here at Disney's Dolphin resort.
Here's exec VP Andrew Friedman's take as of early evening:
"I would characterize the day so far as being extremely productive. It definitely gets extremely hectic, especially on day one. You have a lot of conversations with different teams and free agents leading into these meetings. Once you get here under one roof, the conversations escalate and it's extremely important to be very prepared coming in because things have a propensity to move extremely fast. We’ve had some conversations that have moved faster than we might have anticipated yesterday, we’ve had some that have been a little slower. All in all, it’s been productive and something that I wouldn’t’ be surprised if it yielded something over the next couple days.''
Among other topics, here is Friedman on:
Balancing their priorities: When the first domino falls for us, it's going to help a lot in terms of shaping what other decisions we make. ... It's not necessarily bullpen vs. a bat, because we’re still approaching it that we’d like to address both and aren’t treating them to be mutually exclusive. i thihnk just when you look at it in terms of sheer volume, we’d probably would like to have one, maybe two, bats and
probably four-six relievers, so just from a sheer volume standpoint, the bullpen’s more of a focus. But i think if we’re able to address a couple of them, you’re able to then kind of shift your focus a little bit.
Pat Gillick being elected to the Hall of Fame: "I think it’s a tremendous and well-deserved honor. He's kind of the standard
bearer for all general managers. The success he’s had across many different organizations, different market size, different market conditions, I think captures pretty well just how much of an impact he’s had on this game.''
The Red Sox (Adrian Gonzalez) and O's (Mark Reynolds) making trades to add big bats: " I think both guys certainly make their respective team's lineup better. It's something that when you play in this division, you anticipate it. You expect there will be big name players coming into this division every off-season. You can kind of interchange the names year over year, but it’s a fact of life. It's what happens. It further reinforces that we have to go about it differently than they do, and we embrace that, and I think have fared pretty well in our own little niche in recent past. And we’ll have to continue to be mindful of what our challenges are and how we need to operate to have success. I think I’d characterize it as not surprising. I’d be more surprised had these things not happened.