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Thread: 2009 Rays offseason thread

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    2009 Rays offseason thread

    Mods, please unsticky the 2008 offseason thread

    In addition to previous threads about the trade of Aki Iwamura and the picking up of the option of Carl Crawford, today the Rays re-signed R J Swindle. A soft tossing RP who was claimed from the Rays in August by Cleveland, but picked back up again today to be a LOOGY for the Rays.

  2. #2

    Rays add Hellickson, Jennings and Torres to 40-man

    ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. Minor league outfielder Desmond Jennings and pitchers Jeremy Hellickson and Alexander Torres have been added to the Tampa Bay Rays' 40-man roster.

    The team also reinstated first baseman Carlos Pena from the 60-day disabled list on Thursday. He was sidelined most of the final month of the season with two broken fingers on his left hand.

    Jennings hit a combined .318 with 11 homers, 62 RBIs and 52 stolen bases for Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham this year.

    The right-handed Hellickson was 9-2 with a 2.45 ERA for Montgomery and Durham. The left-handed Torres was acquired on Aug. 28 as part of the trade that sent pitcher Scott Kazmir to the Los Angeles Angels.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Desmond Jennings may eventually be Carl Crawford's replacement. Hellickson is the next stud pitcher to come out of our farm system, joining Wade Davis and Jeff Neimann, and David Price. Garza may become trade bait if he wants a huge deal in arbitration. We need a healthy Carlos Pena in 2010, the team went downhill in September after he went out.

  4. #4

    Shouse files for free agency

    New York, NY -- (Sports Network) - Reliever Brian Shouse was the lone player to file for free agency on Tuesday.

    The 41-year-old lefty went 1-1 with a 4.50 earned run average in 45 appearances last season with Tampa Bay.

    In 467 career games with Pittsburgh, Boston, Kansas City, Texas, Milwaukee and the Rays, Shouse has a 13-10 record with six saves and a 3.72 ERA.

    Eligible players have two more days to file for free agency.

  5. #5

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    The Rays have traded for 29 year old catcher Kelly Shoppach from the Indians for the PTBNL.

    It looks like Dioner Navarro's days as a Ray are coming to an end...

  7. #7

  8. #8

    Rays offer arbitration to Zaun, Shouse

    ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays have offered arbitration to two of their three Type B free agents.

    Left-hander Brian Shouse and catcher Gregg Zaun were both offered salary arbitration Tuesday night, but a decision has not yet been made on right-hander Russ Springer.

    Earlier in the offseason, the Rays elected not to exercise $2 million options on Shouse and Zaun, which made each a free agent. Springer declared himself a free agent shortly after Major League Baseball's free-agency period began following the World Series, but the veteran right-hander was said to be mulling retirement.

    By offering arbitration to Shouse and Zaun, the Rays have qualified themselves to receive draft-pick compensation (between the first and second rounds) if either signs with another team. However, they also run the risk of the player accepting arbitration by Monday's deadline. That would ensure the player returning in 2010 on a one-year contract, with the dollar figure to be decided in arbitration if the parties can't reach a deal on their own.

    The Rays also have three non-ranked free agents who are covered by Tuesday's deadline in right-handers Chad Bradford, Jason Isringhausen and Troy Percival. However, since there is no compensation for non-ranked free agents signing with another team, there is no reason to offer arbitration to the players.

  9. #9

    Rays release Ramon Ramirez

    ST. PETERSBURG With a number of decisions pending heading into next week's winter meetings, the Rays gave themselves room to operate Thursday, releasing reliever Ramon Ramirez to open a spot on the 40-man roster.

    Ramirez's stay was brief. He was claimed on waivers from the Reds on Nov. 9.

    The Rays want a spot open to have the chance to make a selection in the Rule 5 draft of unprotected minor-leaguers.

    They also would need a spot if either catcher Gregg Zaun being pursued by several teams, reportedly including the Brewers, Rockies and Mariners or reliever Brian Shouse accepts arbitration by the Monday midnight deadline or agrees to terms.

    Ramirez, 27, spent most of last season with the Reds' Triple-A affiliate. It's possible he could be re-signed to a minor-league deal.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Greg Zaun signs with the Brewers:

  11. #11
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    Jan 2005
    Rays have traded Jesse Chavez to Atlanta and will get a closer in return in Rafael Soriano. This slots the bullpen up nicely, with Wheeler, Howell and Soriano ready to get thru the last 3 innings of the game. Great job by the GM!

  12. #12

    Rays get Armando Zerpa in Rule 5 Draft

    Rays: Armando Zerpa, LHP, from Red Sox: The 22-year old Zerpa, a Venezuelan, posted a 1.20 ERA with a 51/14 K/BB in 45 innings for Greenville in the South Atlantic League. He has average velocity but a good slider and has dominated lower-level hitters when his command is on. His command is not always on, so it is unlikely he'll see high-leverage innings in the 2010 bullpen.

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  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by raysnbran View Post
    Rays have traded Jesse Chavez to Atlanta and will get a closer in return in Rafael Soriano. This slots the bullpen up nicely, with Wheeler, Howell and Soriano ready to get thru the last 3 innings of the game. Great job by the GM!
    I forgot about Balfour! He'll be in the mix in the 7th and 8th as well. He needs to get a second pitch thoough, then he would be much more effective.

  16. #16

    Speaking of Balfour...

    The Tampa Bay Rays re-signed Grant Balfour Sunday. The six-year veteran had a down season for the Rays last year.

    Rays Executive Vice President Andrew Friedman has made it a point to solidify his bullpen.

    Last year Tampa Bay's relief corps finished in the middle of the pack in the league in ERA and was tied for third in blown saves.

    Tampa signed Rafael Soriano Friday and re-signed Lance Cormier and Randy Choate before Saturday night's non-tender deadline.

    The right hand reliever Balfour went 5-4 last season with a 4.81 ERA in 73 relief appearances.

    In 2008, he boasted a 1.54 ERA in 51 games.

    The 31-year-old sports a 4.20 ERA and eight saves throughout his MLB career.

    Read more:

  17. #17

    Rays sign three, non-tender two

    A little more than an hour before the 11:59 ET non-tender deadline on Saturday night, the Rays struck one-year deals with catcher Dioner Navarro, right-hander Lance Cormier and lefty Randy Choate, while choosing to non-tender right fielder Gabe Gross and catcher Shawn Riggans.

    The rest of the Rays' players in danger of being non-tendered -- including a remaining six who are arbitration-eligible -- were tendered contracts.

    Navarro, who could have made between $2.5 million and $3 million in arbitration despite batting just .218 this past season, signed for the same $2.1 million he made in 2009, while Cormier got $1.2 million and Choate inked a deal for $700,000.

    Navarro had a down year this past season, batting just .214 while essentially losing his starting job to Gregg Zaun down the stretch, and the Rays were looking to upgrade at catcher this offseason. Now, it seems as if that upgrade could be an eventual platoon between he and Kelly Shoppach, whom the Rays acquired from the Indians for a player to be named on Dec. 1.

    Shoppach, who was tendered a contract and could get about $2.5 million via arbitration, is coming off an equally tough season -- having hit .214 in 89 games -- but Rays executive vice president Andrew Friedman said, "I feel like we're a better team with both than with one guy and another guy on the market."

    The option to trade one of the two still exists, but Friedman said he expects to go into Spring Training with Navarro and Shoppach -- though he wouldn't commit entirely to that notion -- and he expects a better year from Navarro, who was an All-Star in 2008.

    "[Navarro] had a down year last year, but we feel like he's capable of a lot more," Friedman said. "The way we look at it, we have what we consider to be great depth in a position that not many teams in the game do right now."

    Gross, who made $1.255 million while batting .227 in 115 games this past season, looked to be without a role for next year, as Gabe Kapler was re-signed and Matt Joyce could be ready for the big leagues next season.

    "I'm a firm believer that we would not have made it to the World Series without [Gross] in '08," Friedman said.

    "It was just a situation where, with the guys that we had, it wasn't a fit."

    The decision to non-tender Riggans was a bit of a surprise, considering he was not yet eligible for arbitration, but the 29-year-old had an injury-plagued 2009 season and seems to be the odd man out with Navarro and Shoppach currently on board behind the plate.

    But Friedman kept open the possibility of re-signing Riggans, perhaps on a Minor League deal.

    "We're a big believer in his ability and his makeup, but obviously the injury history is real, and it's something that if there's a better opportunity for him out there, then we wish him well," Friedman said. "But I made sure not to close the door on the situation, and we'll continue to talk with his representatives going forward."

    The Rays' other arbitration-eligible players who were tendered contracts are right-handers Grant Balfour and Matt Garza, left-hander J.P. Howell, center fielder B.J. Upton and shortstop Jason Bartlett.

  18. #18
    Agreed to terms with 1B Chris Richard, RHP Winston Abreu, RHP Joe Bateman, RHP Jeff Bennett, RHP Richard De Los Santos, LHP Jason Cromer, LHP Carlos Hernandez and LHP R.J. Swindle on minor league contracts.

  19. #19

    Rays sign Joe Dillon and Ryan Shealy

    ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. Infielder Joe Dillon and first baseman Ryan Shealy have agreed to minor league contracts with the Tampa Bay Rays.

    Dillon hit .300 with one homer and two RBIs in 15 games as a designated hitter, third baseman and second baseman for the Rays last season.

    Shealy has played parts of four seasons in the majors with Colorado and Kansas City. He was with Triple-A Omaha in 2009, but missed most of the season because of a knee injury.

  20. #20
    12/14/09 Tampa Bay Rays signed free agent RHP Winston Abreu.
    12/14/09 Tampa Bay Rays signed free agent RHP Joe Bateman.
    12/14/09 Tampa Bay Rays signed free agent RHP Jeff Bennett.
    12/14/09 Tampa Bay Rays signed free agent LHP Jason Cromer.
    12/14/09 Tampa Bay Rays signed free agent RHP Richard De Los Santos.
    12/14/09 Tampa Bay Rays signed free agent LHP Carlos Hernandez.

  21. #21

    Minor league personnel moves

    Named Stan Boroski assistant pitching coach.

    Named Neil Allen pitching coach of Charlotte (IL); Bill Moloney pitching coach of Montgomery (SL); Michael Johns manager of Princeton (Appalachian); Brady Williams manager, Manny Castillo coach and Scott Thurston trainer of Bowling Green (MWL); Jared Sandberg manager, Jack Giese pitching coach, Reinaldo Ruiz coach and Andrew Hauser trainer of Hudson Valley (NYP); Michael Johns manager and Wuarnner Rincones coach and Nick Medina trainer of Princeton (Appalachian); and Dan DeMent and Hector Torres coaches for the Rays (GCL).

  22. #22

    Rays trade Mitch Talbot to Indians

    ST. PETERSBURG -- Right-hander Mitch Talbot will be the player to be named later in the Dec. 1 deal that saw the Rays acquire catcher Kelly Shoppach from the Indians.

    The Indians are also sending cash considerations to the Rays as part of the deal.

    Talbot fought an elbow injury this summer before finishing the season at Triple-A Durham, where he pitched in two of the Bulls' playoff games. For the season, Talbot went 4-4 with a 3.69 ERA in 15 Minor League starts, accruing just 68 innings after pitching 161 the previous season, when he went 13-9 with a 3.86 ERA in 28 starts for the Bulls.

    Talbot finished his season by going 3-0 with a 4.37 ERA in six starts for the Phoenix Desert Dogs during the Arizona Fall League and pleased the Rays with his work.

    "Mitch did everything we asked of him -- he went out there, he made his starts and he got innings that he sorely needed after missing over two months of the season for Durham," Rays farm director Mitch Lukevics said in November.

    "So he went out there with the intent to prove that he was healthy and to prove that he can compete, and he did that. So we accomplished our goals with Mitch Talbot in the Arizona Fall League."

    Talbot was acquired along with Ben Zobrist in a 2006 deal that sent Aubrey Huff to the Astros.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Ben Zobrist and Kelly Shoppach for Aubrey Huff? That's the way the Huff trade has panned out. I'd take that deal every day of the week and twice on Sundays

  24. #24

    Rays, Shoppach avoid arbitration

    St. Petersburg, FL (Sports Network) - The Tampa Bay Rays have avoided arbitration with catcher Kelly Shoppach, signing him to a two-year contract. The deal, which also includes a club option for a third season, is believed to be worth $5.5 million.

  25. #25
    I'd also like to report that after this offseason, I am retiring from reporting the daily team by team transactions (and the Baseball Fever community breathes a collective sigh of relief). It takes far too long to do.

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