Roger Mooney covers the Tampa Bay Rays for The Tampa Tribune, TBO.com and News Channel 8. He has covered the Rays since their first season in 1998, including 11 years for the Bradenton Herald. Roger has also covered Florida, South Florida and Florida State football, the Bucs and the Lightning.
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Coming up short so far
Posted Nov 7, 2007 by Marc Lancaster
Updated Nov 7, 2007 at 05:06 PM
ORLANDO—The Rays remain on the fringes of whatever passes for activity here at the GMs’ meetings.
The highlight of the day so far, which unfortunately I did not witness in person, was Johnny Damon pulling up to the Hyatt in his new Ferrari for a meeting with Joe Girardi and other Yankees officials. For what it’s worth, Yankees GM Brian Cashman did his best to indirectly poke a hole in those Damon-for-Joe Crede rumors that had been making the rounds.
“I don’t expect to move Johnny,” Cashman said this afternoon. “I think Johnny’s an important part of this club – simple as that. I’d love to see him out in left field every day and leading off for us.”
Getting to Rays-related topics, shortstop clearly is a prime position of need, and the free-agent market already is all but closed. Omar Vizquel reportedly is on the verge of re-upping with the Giants and Juan Uribe did the same with the White Sox. That leaves David Eckstein and…eh. Not to worry, said Andrew Friedman.
“I don’t think we saw the free-agent market as a very viable option to address the shortstop position.”
“There’s certainly some teams willing to discuss a shortstop,” said Friedman. “Nothing’s imminent, but it’s something where we’d like to be proactive if we can find the right fit. If not, obviously we have a couple other areas to address as well.”
Of course the Rays would like that “right fit” to be able to swing the bat a bit, but I’d imagine defensive ability would have to take precedence considering the state of affairs in the field last season.