Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Gabe Kapler fits several needs for Tampa Bay Rays

PHILADELPHIA — The Rays moved quickly to re-sign OF Gabe Kapler because they could.

The Rays liked how he hit (against left-handers), how he played defense, how he ran, how he prepared, how he hustled, how he set a good example for the young players.

"We liked everything about him," manager Joe Maddon said from California. "We liked having him on our team."

Kapler liked being there, so he was willing to bypass the free-agent market for the chance to stay and is already excited — "Really excited," he said — about getting back to work.

The Rays also like having depth, options and versatility, and they feel Kapler gives them all of that, and at a decent price ($1,050,000). And clearly more so than minor-leaguers Fernando Perez and Justin Ruggiano, or Gabe Gross, who seems likely to be traded or non-tendered.

Kapler, 34, may end up being no more than the fifth outfielder, as the Rays are still considering a rightfield platoon of Ben Zobrist and Matt Joyce.

But he could platoon with Joyce if the Rays decide to keep Zobrist at second full time, or he could get at-bats at DH if they are able to unload Pat Burrell, or he could be a key replacement if LF Carl Crawford or CF B.J. Upton gets hurt (or, however unlikely, traded).

Executive VP Andrew Friedman called Kapler a "tremendous asset," a "positive influence" and a "valuable piece" of their 2010 squad.

RAYS RUMBLINGS: Seriously? Five levels of pricing for tickets? The same outfield seat, depending on date and opponent, is $12, $17, $20, $24, $27. Why not just have different prices every day? Or ditch the diamond, platinum, gold, silver, bronze theme and break it down to Games We Charge the Most For, Almost as Much For and down to Games We Know We Can't Sell. … LHP Glenn Gibson, the prospect the Rays got from Washington in the trade for controversial OF Elijah Dukes, was among a dozen minor-leaguers released. Still a good deal. … Bench coach Dave Martinez talked with the Indians about their manager's job, which went to Manny Acta. … Interviews should start soon to fill the remaining staff position — assistant to the pitching coach. … The chances of a Burrell-for-Milton Bradley trade seem even less likely with talk that the Cubs reportedly have several teams interested, including the Blue Jays (CF Vernon Wells). … 2B Akinori Iwamura's name has come up in connection with the Cubs and the Dodgers, as the Rays work on a sign-and-trade deal given a $4.85 million option that has to be decided one day after the World Series ends. … The Rays will join the teams pursuing Cuban LHP Aroldis Chapman, but with limits.

AND MORE RUMBLINGS: According to Baseball America's figures, the Rays spent $4,004,500 on the draft, ranking 28th since they didn't sign their top two picks, and down from $9,921,000 in 2008, which was third most. … 3B Evan Longoria is among seven big-leaguers in the next McFarlane Toys figurine lineup. … The voting contingents are different, but it doesn't bode well for RHP Jeff Niemann's already slim chances for the AL rookie of the year award that White Sox 3B Gordon Beckham won the Sporting News and Players Choice honors. The writer-voted official award is announced Nov. 16. … Angels (and former Rays) pitching coach Mike Butcher said LHP Alexander Torres, acquired in the Scott Kazmir trade, is "a real stud" who at 21 already has three above-average pitches — fastball, curve and changeup. … The formula is too complicated to explain, but calculates the Rays should have won 97 games and suggests Maddon may have been the problem.

Gabe Kapler fits several needs for Tampa Bay Rays 10/31/09 [Last modified: Saturday, October 31, 2009 9:36pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs journal: Simeon Rice gives master class on sacks to defensive ends


    TAMPA — As the Bucs seek their first 10-sack season from a player since Simeon Rice in 2005, who better to help that cause than Rice himself?

  2. Bucs' annual Women of RED preseason party attracts nearly 2,000


    TAMPA — Theresa Jones is primarily a college football fan, but she wanted to get a taste of the Bucs. So the 46-year-old Tampa resident bought a ticket for the team's Women of RED Ultimate Football Party at Raymond James Stadium on Friday.

    Lee White of Seminole tries on a helmet at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. on Friday, August 18, 2017.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers female fans descended upon Raymond James Stadium for the ultimate football party, the 2017 Women of RED: The Takeover, supported by Moffitt Cancer Center. CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times

  3. Rays vs. Mariners, 1:10 Sunday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Today: vs. Mariners

    1:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Blake Snell
  4. Bucs' Ali Marpet: Move to center could pay off big


    TAMPA — No player works as closely with Jameis Winston as the center. Only those two touch the ball on every play. Together they make — if you will — snap judgements about defensive alignments.

     Jameis Winston #3 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Ali Marpet #74 warm up prior to preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on August 17, 2017 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) 700069805
  5. Inside the Rays continuing historically bad slump


    The numbers tell the story of the Rays inexplicable ongoing offensive slump, and the words detail how tough it has been to deal with.