Rays' Cash on throwbacks for Sale, Ramos, a speedy OF, more
Rays manager Kevin Cash had his winter meetings media session early this morning, and while he couldn't say much about any moves the Rays have made (reaching agreement with C Wilson Ramos, pending a physical) or may make (adding an OF, trading a P), he did have a pretty good line about the Red Sox acquiring ace LHP Chris Sale.
Playing off the incident last year in Chicago when Sale refused to wear - and actually cut up - a White Sox throwback jersey, and ended up getting disciplined, Cash said the Sale trade could be a good thing for the Rays:
"Our marketing dept. can now figure out when to do throwback jersey day. So we're good.''
Here are some of the other things Cash said:
* On Ramos, noting he had to be vague and speak hypothetically since the deal was not official:
"He's an exciting player .. we like a lot of things he's capable of doing .. the offensive profile.''
He noted Ramos caught 100+ games in multi years, and said that doing so "you put yourself in a special category.''
He said Ramos has handled good pitchers in the past and they have good pitchers so they're confident "that would be a real positive balance for our club.''
* On what he'd like to see in the OF bat they are looking to add:
He said there are several options because of flexibilty offered by Dickerson and Souza, but
"Personally, I like the speed factor, and a guy that is capable of playing some center field. I mean, we all saw what took place when KK got hurt. He's a special player. We're not going to go find Kevin Kiermaier-type defense to fill in, if there's an off-day here or there or on injury. But to have a guy to come in to kind of hold center field down would be great.''
* On the potential of trading a starter:
"As a manager, you don't want to trade any of them, because what we've seen the last two years, you can never have enough starting pitching, and we do have a talented group. ...
Leading up to the Winter Meetings, during the Winter Meetings, everybody wants to talk about our starting pitching, because it's so valuable and it's so tough to find. It's a luxury for us to be able to have that, but I don't want to see any of them go.''
* On the bullpen:
Cash said they expect Alex Colome to be as dominant, are looking forward to having a healthy Brad Boxberger for the full season, are talking about find more ground ball (as opposed to their usual fly ball) pitchers and adding some velocity.
"There's going to be a lot of opportunity in the bullpen.''
* On his development as a manager heading into his third season:
Cash said he is still learning, and will continue to learn, on the job. Specifically, "I think that continuing to have the communication with the players and the balance of what works with some guys and not with others. I've made mistakes on how I've tried to approach communicating with players and how we've handled things. And as long as you are continuing to learn, you're being honest about it and doing some right things along the way.''