ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays seemed to have had a successful offseason improving their offense and bullpen without diminishing their defense or trading from their stash of starting pitchers.
So much so, executive vice president Andrew Friedman on Thursday called it "a dream scenario."
Speaking on 620-AM's Countdown to Opening Day show, Friedman said, "We still have a lot of work to do in terms of this division and this league, but as far as within the scope of what we can do, this offseason worked out very well in our estimation."
One area they had looked to upgrade more was catcher, Friedman said, acknowledging "there were a few guys that we targeted that we felt like would have been really good fits," but those deals didn't work out. And while they are "a little uncomfortable" pairing veteran Jose Molina with an inexperienced partner, either Jose Lobaton or Robinson Chirinos, Friedman said they will be better overall behind the plate in 2012.
Former Bosox 'Oil Can' pitched on cocaine
FORT MYERS — Former Red Sox pitcher Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd says he probably pitched under the influence of cocaine "at every ballpark" during his 10-year career.
"There wasn't one ballpark that I probably didn't stay up all night, until 4 or 5 in the morning, and the same thing is in your system," Boyd said in an interview with a Boston radio station. "It ain't like you had time to go and do it while you were in the game, which I have (done) that."
Boyd was 78-77 with a 4.04 ERA in his career. In eight seasons with the Red Sox (1982-89) he was 60-56. In his last two seasons, he was 18-21 with Montreal and Texas. His autobiography is scheduled for release in June.
"Some of the best games that I've ever, ever pitched in the major leagues, I stayed up all night. I'd say two-thirds of them," he said, "and if I had went to bed, I would have won 150 ball games in the time span that I played."
Rangers, Cruz make Deal: ALCS MVP Nelson Cruz avoided arbitration, agreeing to a two-year, $16 million contract.
Harden Out: Free agent right-hander Rich Harden had shoulder surgery last week and will miss the 2012 season, MLB Network reported.
Dodgers bidding: Michael Heisley, the 75-year-old billionaire owner of the NBA's Grizzlies, is among the 11 remaining bidders for the team, the Los Angeles Times reported.
South Korea bans Orioles: The Korean Baseball Association has banned Orioles scouts from all its sanctioned events in the aftermath of the team signing 17-year-old left-hander Kim Seong-min, the Baltimore Sun reported. The KBA filed a complaint with MLB, contending the Orioles should have first asked the KBA about Kim's availability before trying to sign him.
Phillies: Outfielder Shane Victorino, nicknamed the "Flyin' Hawaiian," will guest-star on Monday's episode of CBS's Hawaii Five-0.
Royals: Outfielder Alex Gordon avoided arbitration by agreeing to a $4.775 million, one-year deal.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.