The end of the World Series means the official start of offseason work for the Rays.
Nine Rays were among 147 big-leaguers who became free agents as of Thursday morning, but though players can talk with other teams, they can't sign elsewhere until 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.
The Rays have interest in retaining some of the nine — such as first baseman James Loney, closer Fernando Rodney, catcher Jose Molina and possibly DH Delmon Young and right-handers Jesse Crain and Jamey Wright — but are not expected to make any pre-emptive deals before they hit the open market. Other newly free Rays include right-hander Roberto Hernandez, infielder/outfielder Kelly Johnson and DH Luke Scott.
The Rays also in the next few days have to act on options they hold on four players: second baseman Ben Zobrist ($7 million) and shortstop Yunel Escobar ($5 million) are obvious keepers, while outfielder David DeJesus ($6.5 million) and right-hander Juan Carlos Oviedo ($2 million) are not as clear.
Though contracts with the coaches expired Thursday, all are expected to be retained.
Also, Sun Sports will debut its postseason special at 10 p.m. Saturday.