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)

Rays not planning offseason shopping spree

Jake McGee, a key setup man the past two seasons, could take over the Rays’ closer role at least part-time in 2014.

JAMES BORCHUCK | Times (2012)

Jake McGee, a key setup man the past two seasons, could take over the Rays’ closer role at least part-time in 2014.

ORLANDO — Discussions about potentially trading ace David Price, and any hints about which way they're leaning, are strictly a private matter among Rays officials.

But they have other issues to deal with on a team they expect to again contend in 2014, and in detailing their offseason priorities, executive vice president Andrew Friedman on Tuesday provided some insight into their strategy.

• Rather than commit to acquiring a true closer, the Rays are seeking to add one or two, relievers who can handle late-inning, high-leverage duty, creating the possibility that Jake McGee or Joel Peralta will become the primary ninth-inning option.

• They are looking externally for a first baseman and a catcher to pair with Jose Lobaton, though also monitoring the market for free agent incumbents James Loney and Jose Molina.

• They are not planning to acquire a true DH, instead eyeing a rotation consisting primarily of outfielders David DeJesus, Desmond Jennings, Matt Joyce and Wil Myers, plus possibly a player off the bench.

Overall, Friedman considers it a shorter to-do list than previous winters. "We probably have less critical areas to address than we have in the past," he said at the annual GM meetings.

The Rays tend to make over their bullpen annually, and though they would be open to bringing back incumbent free agent closer Fernando Rodney at the right price, they are looking at other options and, once again, willing to being creative.

"We're not looking as much as 'we need to get a closer' as I'd really like to add another high-leverage late-inning option," Friedman said. "So how that shakes out, we'll figure out in spring training."

McGee, 27, has spent 2½ seasons as a setup man, with one career save. Peralta, who will be 38 in March, has been the primary eighth-inning reliever for three seasons, with 11 career saves but minor-league closing experience.

"We're big fans of both Peralta and McGee and their makeup and their competitiveness," Friedman said. "I think in a lot of ways you can't really answer that question until they do it, but as far as what you can answer going in, yeah, we feel like both guys can handle it."

A role for Joyce, who projects to make around $3.7 million via arbitration, seemed in question after the re-signing of DeJesus, but Friedman said he remains part of the plan.

Friedman said "it's too early to really handicap the chances" of retaining any of their 10 free agents, as the Rays typically wait for the market to play out, seeking better deals. Relievers Jamey Wright and Jesse Crain could also be of interest in addition to Molina, Loney and Rodney.

"Obviously they are talking to other teams, and we're looking at alternate solutions, and we'll figure out if there will be an overlap over time," Friedman said.

Also, Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg plans to talk about the stadium situation today with commissioner Bud Selig.

Marc Topkin can be reached at

Rays not planning offseason shopping spree 11/12/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 12, 2013 10:56pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays journal: Jake Faria heads to DL with left abdominal strain

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Jacob Faria made the trek he didn't want to take after his last start. It was to the trainer's room. The pain in his left abdominal went from nagging to an issue during his start that night in Toronto.

    A BIG DAY: Adeiny Hechavarria gets a hug from Steven Souza Jr. after hitting a two-run home run in the seventh. Hechavarria also triples and ends the game with a  stellar play at shortstop.
  2. Rays up next: vs. Blue Jays, 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: Off

    Up next: vs. Blue Jays, 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Tropicana Field.

  3. Tom Jones' Two Cents: Bucs, Jaguars both get blame for terrible preseason ratings

    TV and Radio

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst of a weekend in televised sports.

    Worst matchup

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) tries to get past Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Brian Dixon (41) and safety Barry Church (42) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack) JVS119
  4. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Sunday's Rays-Mariners game

    The Heater

    This is the Blake Snell everyone has been waiting for. Working off his fastball. Challenging hitters. Staying focused regardless of how many runners are on base. Snell has pitched at least six innings for three straight starts. He had a rough start to the year, but it looks like he has figured it out.

  5. Blake Snell shines as Rays beat Mariners to end skid (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Blake Snell delivered the best outing of his young career and the Rays offense continued its home run-hitting ways for a 3-0 victory Sunday against the Mariners in front of 13,354 at Tropicana Field.

    Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) with starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) after the top of the seventh inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.