Friday, July 31, 2009

Deadline Dud

So, the trade deadline came and went just like it did last year. Lots of hype, and then a big let down. I'm sure a lot of people are wondering why we just sat there scratching our (insert body part) while other contending teams tried to improve. Others are probably saying to themselves that we did nothing last year, and still ended up in the World Series. That may be true, however, this is not last year. We are 7 games back of the Yankees, 4.5 of the Red Sox. The Yankees are healthy, unlike last year. The Red Sox added an all star player. So why did the rays just sit back and do nothing?
Joe Maddon has an interesting look on it - He believes that we are getting the 2007 Scott Kazmir back, since he did have his first quality start in over a year. Well, thats the same as trading for a Cliff Lee or Roy Halladay right there. Then there is Pat Burrell and Carlos Pena. Both are struggling and playing well below their expectations. Pena is doing his job with the homers but has fallen off his early season pace, and is basically striking out every time he doesn't hit a long ball. Burrell, on the other hand, has pretty much been the worst Rays hitter all season other than maybe The Fat Catcher. So we can assume he will all of a sudden become the power bat he was in Philly and that's another big "trade". Speaking of the fat guy behind the plate, if he can boost his average up from the .220's to maybe the .280's, that would be another huge acquisition of a former all star.
Of the pitchers, only Jeff Neimann is doing his job at or beyond expectations. Shields hasn't been horrible, but he hasn't been a #1 either. Yes, he gets basically zero run support, but a great pitcher will be able to carry his team to at least a few wins on his own and Shields has not been able to do that this year. Garza is just so hot and cold you never know what you are going to get, and Price is worthless on the road. So if those 3 play the way they are expected to, that blockbuster 3 player "trade" for the Rays.
So, if you are a genius like Joe Maddon, then you would realize that the Rays had the most unbelievable trading deadline day in the history of baseball. Or, if you are not an idiot and don't rely on your under performing players to all of a sudden play like all stars, then you basically saw today as us waiving the white flag. I guess we will find out in the next couple months.


  1. Basically the Rays are stuck because of their signing mistakes the last few years!
    They have mediocre players (Burrell, Kazmir,Pena ect ect) they can't dump because they make too much money!! Plus they don't have the budget to pay name players!
    I love the "were standing pat" attitude they now have...Just think if they would have stood pat in off season...No Burrell then Aybar at we still have Edwin Jackson..... probably our #1 pitcher!
    I really believe we would be on top with only those two things!

  2. looking back, if we knew what we were getting this year with Burrell I'm sure the Rays would have just stuck with Aybar. The reason we got Burrell in the first place is because we made a lot more profit then expected because of the World Series run and the front office decided to put the money back into the team rather then keeping it. As for Jackson, that wasn't really as much a salary issue as it was having too many players that were out of options. It was either Sonnenstine, Jackson, or Neimann. I personally don't think Jackson would be having the year he is right now if he were still on the rays. He needed a change of scenery.

  3. Jackson wasn't an immediate salary issue esp without Burrell...they gave him away for a minor league player that may never play in the majors...
    Once again give me EJ, & Aybar playing every day and bring them on......

  4. It's very easy to look at hindsight in terms of signings and trades. Do you think the Twins would make the Delmon Young deal right now?

    The EJ trade wasn't made for 2009, and you can't say that Joyce may never play in the majors. That's just not fair (and probably not true).

    We all were doing backflips the day the Rays signed Burrell. The big thing that was missing last year was a powerful right handed bat. If the Rays front office knew what was coming, obviously they think differently. Pat has been a bust so far, but if he can really get hot in the way that a streaky player can, we will be singing a different tune.