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)

Price decision complicates Rays' offseason

With options on 2B Ben Zobrist and SS Yunel Escobar exercised, now the Rays' offseason only gets harder.

They have nine free agents — plus pending option decisions on OF David DeJesus and RHP Juan Carlos Oviedo — and 10 arbitration-eligibles, built-in raises for several players, and potentially no increase in a payroll that was around $61 million.

And here's where it really gets complicated:

Making decisions and filling holes starting now with the possibility of a landscape-changing trade of LHP David Price coming later.

Let's just say, hypothetically, they have a chance to re-sign James Loney or acquire another first baseman in the next week or two. Do they do that when there's speculation the Angels will come hard for Price and would offer Mark Trumbo, who could be a longer-term answer at first?

The same applies with leftfield, catcher and other holes. Already, a half-dozen teams, topped by the Dodgers and Rangers, have been identified in media reports as being "in" on Price, and it would be a shock if there aren't a dozen more between next week's GM meetings and the Dec. 8-12 winter meetings.

In theory, the Rays have to make each decision, as executive VP Andrew Friedman likes to say, "in a vacuum." But in trading Price — or anyone else — they have to maximize their return and wouldn't be best served to pass on a better player because they already filled that spot. Conversely, they can't wait too long to fill holes in case they don't deal Price, or get only prospects back.

While not speaking directly to the possibility of a Price trade, Friedman acknowledged the potential complications of the offseason agenda.

"The timing of making decisions is by far the trickiest part of the offseason," he said. "We have to utilize all the information we have accumulated to that point to make the best decision possible while also appreciating the trickle-down effect of each move."

ZIGGY STARDUST: Best wishes to Jeff Ziegler, who leaves the Rays after 15 seasons as travel director, taking a job with Hillsborough County. Among many memorable moments, Ziegler was most appreciated for his handling of the 2008 World Series Game 5 postponement in Philadelphia by getting the team settled, comfortably, in Wilmington, Del.

RAYS RUMBLINGS: The folks at project free-agent closer Fernando Rodney to get a two-year, $18 million deal, which, if anywhere close, would quickly end any chance of returning. … OF Wil Myers and RHP Chris Archer are finalists, along with Detroit SS Jose Iglesias, for the Players Choice Outstanding Rookie award to be announced Monday. … The BBWAA award finalists are revealed Tuesday, with the AL rookie of the year announced Nov. 11. … As projected, C Jose Lobaton and LHP Jake McGee qualified for an additional "Super 2" year of arbitration eligibility, McGee by five days. … The online gambling site has the Rays at 16-1 to win the 2014 Series; the Dodgers are 7-1, the Tigers 9-1, the Red Sox and others 10-1.

Price decision complicates Rays' offseason 11/02/13 [Last modified: Saturday, November 2, 2013 7:55pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. For starters: Rays at Twins, looking for another with Odorizzi starting


    UPDATE, 12:45: Cash said Robertson was taking better swings Friday and so he wanted to move him up today, liking the idea of having three straight right-handers vs. a LHP they don't know much about. ... Souza was still smiling this morning about his failed dive attempt last night, and the reaction it got. .. The …

  2. Why the Lightning would consider trading Jonathan Drouin

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — This summer, the Lightning could trade one of its most dynamic young players ever.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) celebrates with his team on the bench after beating Chicago Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling (33) to score his second goal of the period and to tie the score at 4 to 4 during second period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Monday evening (03/27/17).
  3. Why the Lightning should keep Jonathan Drouin

    Lightning Strikes

    Keep him.

    Jonathan Drouin is live bait. The Lightning is ready to run the hook through him and cast him out there again. Drouin has enough talent for the Lightning to meet some defensive needs in a deal.

    Keep him.

    Lightning wing Jonathan Drouin celebrates after beating Los Angeles Kings goalie Peter Budaj during the first period of Tuesday's win in Tampa. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]
  4. This Tampa Bay Lightning wing rides the newest wave of fan interaction

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — There are photos of Lightning fan Shaun Egger as a toddler at center ice at the then-Thunderome, aka Tropicana Field. He's played in the Lightning's high school hockey league for Palm Harbor University. But his closest personal encounter with players had been waving through a crowd after a training camp …

    Tampa Bay Lightning player J.T. Brown wears his anti UV glasses as he talks over the headset with a hockey fan while they play against each other on line in an XBOX NHL video game in Brown's game room at his home in south Tampa. The fan chose to be the Washington Capitals and Brown, of course, was the Tampa Bay Lightning. Brown interacts with fans through video game systems as he streams the games live on Twitch with plans for the proceeds to go to charity.
  5. ‘Biggest fight' behind her, Petra Kvitova returns ahead of schedule


    PARIS — Five months after a home invader's knife sliced into her left hand, Petra Kvitova will return to competitive tennis at the French Open, a last-minute decision to make her comeback earlier than expected.

    Petra Kvitova adjusts her hair during a news conference at Roland Garros Stadium, where she will make her tennis return at the French Open. Kvitova's left hand was badly injured by a knife-wielding intruder in December; she has recovered ahead of schedule. [Associated Press]