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)

Tampa Bay Rays begin to make decisions about 2010 roster

ST. PETERSBURG — Now that the Yankees are celebrating this year's championship, the Rays can start the real work in trying to win the next one.

They've already done some of their business, re-signing OF Gabe Kapler for a low price ($1,050,000) and picking up a live arm, RHP Jesse Chavez, in trade for 2B Akinori Iwamura, whom they were going to let become a free agent rather than pick up his $4.85 million option.

Next up are decisions, perhaps coming as soon as Monday, on their other options.

Bringing back LF Carl Crawford for $10 million is a no-brainer; the bigger question is if they get anywhere in the coming months on an extension.

Declining LHP Brian Shouse's $2 million option seems just as obvious.

C Gregg Zaun's $2 million option is more debatable. But until the Rays decide if they're going to stick with Dioner Navarro (who's in line for a raise in the $2.6 million to $3 million range through arbitration) as their front-line catcher, it's hard to commit to a backup. And others will be available. Expect Zaun's to be declined, with the idea they could keep talking.

Free agency is next. Players can file, and teams have exclusive rights to their own, through Nov. 19, with the market opening Nov. 20. RHPs Chad Bradford and Russ Springer filed, Jason Isringhausen can; none are expected back.

Executive VP Andrew Friedman heads to the GM meetings in Chicago this week with plans for lots of talking: "The GM meetings provide a great forum for us to continue the dialogue we have had with various teams … as well as initiate and listen to new ideas.''

Other key dates: Nov. 16 for AL rookie of the year announcement; Nov. 20 to set 40-man rosters; Dec. 7-10 for winter meetings deals; Dec. 12 to tender contracts.

SUCH A LEFTY: LHP J.P. Howell was to get married Saturday to Heather Hennessy then honeymoon in Bora Bora. Why there? "I don't even know where it is," Howell said. "I heard (Lance) Cormier talking about it and it sounded cool."

CRYSTAL BASEBALL: Stats guru Bill James projects big seasons in his 2010 Handbook for 3B Evan Longoria (.287, 37 HRs, 120 RBIs) and 1B Carlos Peña (.240, 36, 99) but not as much from 2B-RF Ben Zobrist (.281, 23, 75) and CF B.J. Upton (.266, 13, 59). He also has Crawford slowing down, with only 41 steals. His pitcher projections are mediocre: Matt Garza 12-10, 3.85 ERA; David Price 10-10, 4.30; James Shields 14-11, 3.80.

RAYS RUMBLINGS: You'd think the Rays would be better off with Bill Foster winning the St. Petersburg mayoral election over staunch stadium opponent Kathleen Ford, but that remains to be seen, which isn't a good thing. ... Though RHP Troy Percival filed for free agency, agent Paul Cohn said it was procedural and there are no plans for a comeback. … At $4.85 million, Iwamura becomes the highest-paid Pirate (and likely July trade bait). … In-person presentation of the 2008 AL Champion­ship rings was completed Friday when LHP Trever Miller got his. … Adding three minor-league coordinators was a good investment in the future, allowing for more individualized coaching, especially at the lower levels. … Two names to watch: Matt Quatraro, who broadens his growing resume after four years as a minor-league manager by becoming a hitting coordinator; and Matt Arnold, a sharp guy who takes the new position of director of pro scouting. … Two prospects were named Topps players of the year in their leagues, OF Desmond Jennings (Double-A Southern) and RHP Alexander Colome (short-season A NY-Penn). … Was the record 42 percent increase from last year in World Series TV ratings solely because of the AL representative? … has the Rays at 25-1 to win the 2010 World Series; has them at 15-1.

Marc Topkin can be reached at

Tampa Bay Rays begin to make decisions about 2010 roster 11/07/09 [Last modified: Saturday, November 7, 2009 8:42pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Protests at hotel before NFL owners open fall meetings


    NEW YORK — A pair of protests preceded the opening of the NFL's annual fall meetings, where owners and players are seeking a way to highlight social issues while taking the focus away from demonstrations during the national anthem.

    A coalition of advocacy groups 'take a knee' outside of a hotel where members the quarterly NFL league meetings are being held on Tuesday in New York City.  Owners, players and commissioner Roger Goodell are all expected to attend. The activists spoke of having solidarity with athletes and coaches around the country who have also kneeled in protest of racial injustice, especially in policing.
 [Getty Images]
  2. Lightning's Steve Yzerman: Nikita Kucherov 'wants to be great'


    If anyone knows what it is like to be as hot as Nikita Kucherov is right now, it's Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman.

    Nikita Kucherov joined Steve Yzerman, Mario Lemieux and Keith Tkachuk as the only players in the last 30 years to score a goal in each of his team's first six games.
  3. Fennelly: Longtime Bucs fans, we want to hear from you


    Calling all Bucs fans! Calling all Bucs fans!

    Jameis Winston is pressured by Chandler Jones during the Bucs' loss to the Cardinals Sunday in Glendale, Ariz.
  4. A punter is the state's only first-team, midseason All-American


    Here's another indictment of how mediocre the state's college football season has become.

  5. HomeTeam 25: Football rankings for Tampa Bay


    1. Armwood (7-0)

    Up next: vs. Brandon

    Armwood quarterback Devin Black (7) shakes hands with Plant defensive back Keon King (26) after the game between Plant High School Panthers and the Armwood High School Hawks in Suffer, Fla. on Monday, Oct. 16, 2017. The Hawks beat the Panthers 27-7.