Make us your home page
Instagram

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 say they're unlikely to pursue a closer

ST. PETERSBURG — Rays officials say they will work diligently throughout the offseason pursuing free agents and considering trades to improve their bullpen.

But don't expect them to close a deal for a closer.

"I don't think that's realistic," executive VP Andrew Friedman said at Tuesday's season wrapup media session.

Though Friedman said they'd like to have a single pitcher to get the final three outs, the high cost and limited availability, plus the Rays' financial limitations, make it more likely they will add two or three relievers who can face left-handers and right-handers and "have the stuff to pitch high-leverage innings" and handle late-game situations.

"Our goal is to have our bullpen be even more of a strength for us," Friedman said.

Manager Joe Maddon and Friedman said they expected DH Pat Burrell and C Dioner Navarro — who had disappointing seasons — to rebound.

Overall, Friedman said the team's performance illustrated the fine line between a disappointing season and a successful one: "Our goal going into any season is to play competitive games in September, and this year we barely accomplished that. I think that the true talent level of this club was greater than that."

CROWD CONTROL: The Rays didn't only come up short on the field.

With an increase of 3.5 percent from 2008, the Rays' total attendance of 1,874,962 was nearly 20 percent shy of their goal of the major-league average, and team president Matt Silverman said the shortfall is likely to impact their payroll in future seasons.

"It's an important data point for us," Silverman said. "There certainly is a connection between the attendance at Tropicana Field and the funds that we're able to invest throughout our organization. We stretched this year (to $63 million) coming off the World Series and that will certainly have effects on future years, as will our better understanding of attendance from this past year."

MISCELLANY: The Rays will have the 16th pick, but — due to a compensation pick — make the 17th selection in next year's draft. … The Rays Baseball Foundation made a $25,000 grant to Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Suncoast and $60,000 grants to Girls Inc. and Devereux Kids.

Tampa Bay Rays say they're unlikely to pursue a closer 10/06/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 6, 2009 9:44pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs' Demar Dotson should be back from injury next week

    Bucs

    The Bucs got good news on starting right tackle Demar Dotson, whose MRI showed only a mild right groin sprain and should be back at practice next week.

    Bucs tackle Demar Dotson, shown last year when he signed a three-year contract extension, should only miss a week of practice with his groin injury and can return healthy for the Bucs' season opener at Miami in three weeks. [Octavio Jones | Times]
  2. Rowdies settle for draw at home

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — The good news for the Rowdies is that they still haven't lost a game at Al Lang Stadium since late April. The bad news is they had to settle for a 1-1 tie against Ottawa on Saturday night in front of 6,710 sweaty fans.

  3. Bats come to life, but Rays' freefall continues (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG —The six runs seemed like a ton, just the second time the Rays had scored that many in a game during their numbing two-plus-weeks stretch of offensive impotency, and amazingly, the first time at the Trop in nearly two months.

    Lucas Duda connects for a two-run home run in the sixth, getting the Rays within 7-5. A Logan Morrison home run in the ninth made it 7-6, but Tampa Bay couldn’t complete the comeback.
  4. Rays journal: Cesar Puello, who has one major-league game, claimed off waivers

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Looking to add punch to their right-handed lineup, the Rays claimed OF Cesar Puello off waivers Saturday from the Angels.