Tag:Tampa Bay
Posted on: November 14, 2008 6:38 pm
Edited on: November 24, 2008 8:16 pm

GM for a Day: Tampa Bay Rays

The Rays are easy to due.  Infield is complete.  Eight starting pitchers who could step in right away.  Only real place to improve are RF, DH and bullpen.  I would have put trade for Matt Holliday as #1.  They have the prospects to get it done and the spot for him.  They have extra revenue from the playoffs and can expect increased ticket sales for next season so they do have some payroll flexibility.

1.  Sign Raul Ibanez.  3 years, $36 million.   He isn't flashy but he's effective and consistent.  Consistency is important because young hitters can often by streaky.  He's a relatively safe free agent sign for a small market club and three years is not a long commitment.

2.  Sign Joe Crede to a short incentive laden contract.  No he isn't reliable but its a low risk high reward deal, and putting him at DH might keep him healthy.  Resigning Rocco Baldelli instead could be a another option or backup plan.

3.  Make a package around Edwin Jackson and Jeff Niemann to get Jose Valverde.  Percival can't be trusted and Balfour and Wheeler are better suited for 7th/8th inning work.  Houston is supposedly trying to clear payroll and has made Valverde available.  They also need numbers in the rotation and are one of few teams that isn't likely to try and hold out for Wade Davis.  He isn't the best closer in the league but he's reliable and will cost less than the free agents.  Four year deals on relievers are risky and Tampa isn't the type of team that can afford to get burned on a big contract to Krod or Fuentes.

They won the division and have a great young core, meaning it's time to start making the little additions to stay on top.  Regardless if these are the actual players they bring in or not, an experienced closer and a veteran bat for the OF are likely the only major additions this club makes.  They don't need to pay the big bucks for a star and now that they've become a desirable place to play, they won't have to rely on signing the Cliff Floyd's of the world either.
Category: MLB
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com