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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Running of the bulls…
Posted Nov 5, 2007 by Marc Lancaster
Updated Nov 5, 2007 at 11:13 AM
With the opening of the general managers’ meetings today, rumor season is officially under way.
The Rays got out of the gate strong, figuring prominently in a Joel Sherman piece today that leads with the thought that Scott Kazmir may be available for the right offer. It goes without saying that said offer would have to be borderline outrageous, but those types of deals seem to have waned in recent years as GMs have placed more emphasis on keeping cheap, young talent in hand as long as possible.
Yes, Kazmir’s salary is going to jump significantly now that he has entered the arbitration phase of his career, but the fact is he’ll still be vastly more affordable than any free-agent pitcher of his caliber for the next three seasons. With that all-important service-time-clock in mind, I think the second Rays-related item Sherman mentions, the potential availiabilty of the Giants’ Tim Lincecum and Tampa Bay having pieces that might be able to get him, is more viable.
Particularly if they’re able to come up with some sort of confidence that Rocco Baldelli will be able to stay healthy, I can see the Rays dealing one of their starting outfielders for a high-impact pitcher. The biggest concern in that sort of deal is the lack of position-player depth in the Rays’ organization. The drop-off from Carl Crawford or Delmon Young to someone like Justin Ruggiano or Jason Pridie is substantial.
Don’t be surprised, however, if the Rays end up dealing from what appears to be a surplus of arms in the high minors. Strange as it may seem for the Rays to even think about getting rid of pitching talent, it might be wise for them to take advantage of the impressive seasons posted across the board by guys like Wade Davis, Jeff Niemann, Jake McGee and Chris Mason and make some sort of move.
I don’t necessarily expect anything to happen this week, but the wheels are in motion.