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Friedman on Rays’ moves

Posted Jul 28, 2007 by Marc Lancaster

Updated Jul 28, 2007 at 10:46 PM

Here’s a sampling of executive vice president Andrew Friedman’s remarks to the media earlier on the series of moves made today:

On the Wigginton-Wheeler deal: “Upgrading our bullpen’s been a priority for us for a long time. Obviously, to get somebody of Dan’s caliber we had to give something up of equal value. Wiggy’s meant a tremendous amount to this organization in the year and a half he’s been here. He’s meant a lot both on the field and in the clubhouse, and obviously it’s bittersweet trading somebody like Wiggy. On the other hand, to get a relief pitcher that we feel can pitch important, high-leverage innings in the back part of the game is extremely important, especially with our young starting pitchers and how important it was to try to insulate them from a bullpen perspective.”

On Jorge Cantu: “Obviously, Jorge expressed his displeasure with being here. He’d been in this organization for a long time and has accomplished a lot of great things, but we got to the point in 2007 where other guys started to emerge and take those at-bats. He was outwardly frustrated by that and obviously we don’t want somebody here that doesn’t want to be here, so we have been exploring things on him for quite a while and something emerged today. I think it’ll be good for both sides.”

On the relievers acquired from the Reds: “[Medlock has] had a lot of success in Double-A, both in terms of striking guys out and from a command standpoint. He’s been in Triple-A – it’s a pretty small sample size, but has struggled some. We’re confident that in time he will be a viable option for us in the bullpen. Shackelford is a lefty that’s got some time in the big leagues and has had some success. We’ll use both of them out of the bullpen in Durham and we feel like it adds to the options that we have internally.”

On Shawn Camp: “Camp is a guy who’s obviously been struggling some recently. When his sinker’s really working, he can help out a major-league bullpen by getting groundballs and he’s extremely effective against right-handed hitters. He’s been in a little bit of a rut lately and we’re hoping that by sending him down and giving him a chance to pitch in Durham that he’ll start pitching a little bit more consistently.”

On whether he’s done revamping the bullpen: “I’m not sure we’ll ever get to a point where we’re comfortable with any aspect of our team unless we’ve won 100 games and are heading into the postseason. We’re always going to try to be aggressive to shore up any area that we feel like could use it. I think our bullpen is a lot better today than it was two days ago. That being said, we’ll continue to have conversations on a number of different fronts, and if we’re able to address any area that we see as kind of a weakness, then we’re going to be aggressive to do so.”

Also, back to the details of player control: Wheeler, who is making $2.1 million this season, will be arbitration-eligible for the final time this off-season, making him a free agent after the 2008 season. Balfour, who’s making $415,000, won’t be a free agent until after 2010.

Reader Comments

Por (Bryce James) on July 29, 2007 (Suggest removal)

I see Friedman talking, but all I hear is blah,blah,blah. He must think the fans are stupid, he says they will always be aggressive improving the team, if that was true they would have addressed the Rays woeful pitching in the offseason and not subject us to Camp, Fossum, Stokes, Ryu, etc.
Also, has he watched Navarro? I am actually glad that Josh Paul is back, that is how bad things are. Also, who is Andrew Friedman anyway? What is his backround to be able to run an MLB team?

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Por (Matt) on July 29, 2007 (Suggest removal)

Look, a ton of people hated these moves, right? Well guess what, we sucked before these moves were made. So, really how bad could it be to have a few new arms in the bullpen. I say let’s see how it pans out. But, now that we dont have a legit 2B, why not get Longoria up here and move Aki over to 2B or move Longoria to 2B. I dont care either way, but if he is our future, let’s see what this kid can do.

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Por (John Holecek) on July 29, 2007 (Suggest removal)

Think what the bullpen might have been like if they had actually been more agressive in signing Octavio Dotel, who has 11 saves with a 2-1 record and a 3.91 ERA. They could have paired him up with Al Reyes and really have had a solid back-end of a bullpen.

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