Well I already said what I thought about the Rays offseason in my previous post, now I want to hear what the readers think. In this post, there’s a series of polls about different subjects on the Rays Hot Stove.
The first poll is about the three big names that may depart out of Tampa this offseason. You probably already know who they are; Casey Kotchman, James Shields, and B.J. Upton. ‘Big Game’ James and Kotchman were both a huge part of the Rays success in 2011. Upton is a player that has very high potential in his years to come, and is again eligible for arbitration this year.
Coming into the offseason, it was already clear that the Rays had to potential high-value trade pieces in Shields and Upton. Starter Wade Davis is the newest member to join the possible trade picture. Many teams can use a solid pitcher like Wade Davis, as quality pitching does not come easy these days. Wade’s 11-10 record and 4.45 ERA as the #5 starter, proved him to be a pretty effective pitcher in the tough AL East division.
The bullpen was a big topic in my recent offseason outlook article (link in the beginning of the post), and the two biggest names were Kyle Farnsworth and Joel Peralta. Although maybe not as good as 2010’s Benoit-Soriano lockdown 8th and 9th innings, Farnsworth and Peralta had a pretty good 8-9 punch themselves. Farnsworth was very important this year as the team’s closer, and Peralta as the team’s setup-man.
For the second season in a row, B.J. Upton may be the biggest name on the Rays Hot Stove. There has already been a handful of rumors of where he might land, and his chances of playing in Tampa next year don’t seem so high at the moment.
With all these Rays trade names out there, who are the potential players the Rays could reel in these winter. The Marlins Logan Morrison, catcher Chris Ianetta, and the talented star Grady Sizemore are all names floating around in the midst of offseason rumors. There will probably be much more rumors to come, as it is only early November.
The Rays have four free agents this offseason and their names are: Johnny Damon, Casey Kotchman, Kelly Shoppach, and Juan Cruz. All four were talked about in my previous article; Damon and Kotchman obviously being the bigger names here.
Another big topic mentioned in my outlook post was the Rays weak areas. The three main areas to tend to this offseason is catcher, DH, and first base. All three of these positions’ 2011 starters are free agents; Kotchman (1B), Damon (DH), and Shoppach (C). The Rays do not have any strong replacements for these guys at the moment, and it seems likely that these areas will be addressed by the Rays front office this winter.