Rays still early in off-season agenda
Options the Rays have taken care of, bringing back 2B Ben Zobrist, SS Yunel Escobar and, after working out a new deal, OF David DeJesus and letting RHP Juan Carlos Oviedo go by their set deadlines.
But as for the rest of the Rays off-season manuevering, whether it be big deals, such as a potential trade of David Price, or small free-agent signings, it's still early in the game.
Executive VP Andrew Friedman said Wednesday they are still more in the process of gathering information and clarifying options than at a point of making decisions. He heads to Orlando next week for the annual GM meetings expecting plenty of talk.
"We're working a lot right now trying to put ourselves in the best position to execute our plans as effectively as we can,'' Friedman said. "It's still too early to really say much. The players that are out there are all expecting to do really well, and rightfully so, and who knows. It's too early to say how things are going to play out. We just have to be extremely prepared to be able to execute on our plan and recognize and appreciate that when we make a decision the trickle down effect that it has and the domino effect of subsequent moves.''
Without addressing any of the players specifically, Friedman said they have talked to several of their own 10 free agents about returning. That list includes 1B James Loney and closer Fernando Rodney - who both seem likely to get big deals elsewhere - and C Jose Molina.
The others are pitchers Jesse Crain, Roberto Hernandez, Oviedo, Jamey Wright; INF/OF Kelly Johnson; DHs Luke Scott and Delmon Young.