6:13 PM EDT, Fri October 31, 2014
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DRaysBay 56 mins ago

Cubs announce intention to hire Joe Maddon as Manager

The face of the franchise officially departs. According to club president Theo Epstein, Joe Maddon is the man to helm the Chicago Cubs in 2015. The Cubs will hold a press conference on Monday to announce the hiring of Maddon as their next manager, finalizing the move we have all expected. Earlier this afternoon, the Cubs made the decision to remove Rick Renteria as manager of the Cubs, announced in a lengthy statement by Epstein, repeated below (emphasis mine): "Today we made the difficult decision to replace Rick Renteria as manager of the Chicago Cubs. On behalf of Tom Ricketts and Jed...
DRaysBay 1 hour ago

Rays exercise $7.5 Million option on Ben Zobrist

Least surprising news ever? Ben Zobrist's meager $7.5M option for 2015 has been exercised by the Tampa Bay Rays. This is the least surprising news and does nothing to make you feel better about this season, so don't even try. The Rays might as well have a giant FOR SALE sign out front of The Trop, and that includes the incredible asset that is Ben Zobrist. Next season will be his age 33 season, and his glove should be able to play at any position on the diamond. That gives the Rays enormous flexibility to cut salary wherever they want for Zobrist to take over, or to trade Zobrist to any...
DRaysBay 5 hours ago

Enjoying Kevin Kiermaier fielding videos, part one

The Gold Glove candidate is just plain fun to watch. Kevin Kiermaier has been nominated for a Gold Glove award in his rookie season -- a partial rookie season at that. After a solid 2014 campaign by the young gun, here's what we know about The Outlaw: 1. Defensive metrics loved Kevin Kiermaier. 2. Kevin Kiermaier is ridiculously fast. 3. Kevin Kiermaier gets very quick jumps on balls hit to the outfield. 4. Kevin Kiermaier sometimes takes bad routes. 5. Kevin Kiermaier is fun to watch. All of these statements are true, and the first four have been debated to death around here. I'm...
DRaysBay 7 hours ago
Rays place several among top full-season prospects

Rays place several among top full-season prospects

These players are a little closer to helping the big club Two weeks ago, I took a look at how the Rays' lower level affiliates fared in Baseball America's top 20 prospect by league series. Since then, they finished all the leagues and have moved onto the team top 10 lists. Before that's officially released Monday, I'll go over the Rays recognized in full-season leagues. Quite clearly, the Rays aren't represented as well in the full-season leagues, leaving me wonder why I split this into two parts. If you want to check out all of BA's top 20 lists, you can do so here. Class A Midwest...
DRaysBay Oct 30, 2014

Dock of the Rays on Joe Maddon

"Good Manager, Better Man" Friend-of-the-site Jason Hanselman runs the blog Dock of the Rays. On it, he consistently provides fresh, thorough statistical analysis. It's fact-based writing that needs to be a part of any informed conversation about the Rays. That's why, from time to time, I'm going to start featuring his work here. I'll give you a teaser. Go read the full thing on the Dock, and then circle back to discuss it here. From Good Manager, Better Man: While, [Lou Piniella] would ultimately get three years here, no where near long enough to turn a truly terrible team into a...
DRaysBay Oct 30, 2014
Congratulations, Giants; but remember the Royals, remember the Rays

Congratulations, Giants; but remember the Royals, remember the Rays

Because if we don't, no one else will. Congratulations to the San Francisco Giants. With three World Series titles in five years, they're a dynasty. They're doing something right, including but not limited to drafting Buster Posey when they had the chance. But I don't want to talk about the Giants, because lots of other people will do that. I want to talk about the Royals, the Rays, and all other worthy losers. After the game ended last night, I saw a Royals fan tweet "Why does it hurt so much. It's only a game." Rays fans know why it hurts. It hurts because the 2014 Royals were good. It...
Rays Index Oct 29, 2014

Joe Maddon To Become Manager Of The Cubs And Bud Selig Is Going To Be Pissed

In a move that is a surprise to almost nobody, Joe Maddon is going to become the manager of the Cubs according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. joe maddon to become cubs manager. story up soon at @CBSSports — Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) October 29, 2014 What is surprising is that […]
DRaysBay Oct 29, 2014

Joe Maddon heading to the Cubs

That didn't take long. Jon Heyman burst open the interwebs ahead of the World Series Game 7, reporting that Joe Maddon and the Chicago Cubs are finalizing a contract to make him manager of the club. For their part, the Cubs have denied the rumor, while Maddon and his agent (who lives and works in Chicago) have been reportedly silent. Heyman: The contract, once finalized, is expected to make Maddon one of the highest-paid managers in baseball and quite likely the best-paid in the National League. Mike Scioscia's Angels deal pays him $5 million annually, so he sets the standard. Cubs...
DRaysBay Oct 29, 2014
Rays payroll set to decrease in 2015

Rays payroll set to decrease in 2015

Back to the loser levels you're used to. Among the relocation rumors that sparked back up last week was the footnote reminder, here and elsewhere, that 2017 could bring 4-5x the television revenue when a new contract is negotiated. The Tampa Bay area is among the top twenty most populous metropolitan areas, and the Rays are consistently drawing ratings above average for baseball. There's money to be had, but 2015 is two years shy of the gold mine. The Tampa Bay Rays entered last season with an $77M payroll, the highest in team history, although the 28th largest in baseball, outpacing only...
DRaysBay Oct 28, 2014
Evaluating Derek Shelton

Evaluating Derek Shelton

Should the Rays fire their hitting coach? Yesterday, the Rays announced that they plan to retain their entire coaching staff, despite the departure of Andrew Friedman and Joe Maddon. That ostensibly includes much-maligned hitting coach Derek Shelton. It's understandable why people are down on him. There's been a perception for a long time that the Rays don't hit well, as you know, and last season that perception was finally correct. However, it's difficult to evaluate a hitting coach, and when you call for someone to lose his job, you'd better be right. Most of us (including myself) don't...
Rays Index Oct 28, 2014

The Montreal Rumors Are Picking Up And It’s A Huge Gamble For The Rays And MLB

Well, we knew there would be more chatter about the Rays and their mistress, the city of Montreal. The latest comes from Bill Madden of the New York Daily News: And according to sources, Sternberg has had discussions with wealthy Wall Street associates about moving the Rays to Montreal, which […]
Rays Index Oct 28, 2014

Joe Maddon and the Departure of a Franchise Face

Very few franchises are defined by their manager. Managers are more or less second-guessed dugout dwellers whose job it is to write the lineup card and push the right bullpen buttons. Joe Maddon was more than that. Like Casey Stengel for the 1962 Mets, Maddon was the face of the […]
DRaysBay Oct 27, 2014
O'Conner and Leonard named to Fall Stars game

O'Conner and Leonard named to Fall Stars game

The Peoria Javelinas teammates will represent the Rays on MLB Network this weekend On Monday, the rosters for Saturday's Arizona Fall League Fall Stars Game were announced. The Rays will be represented by a pair of 2014 Stone Crabs: catcher Justin O'Conner and first baseman Patrick Leonard. Fans can catch those two, and a number of top prospects, on MLB Network at 8 PM on Saturday. O'Conner enjoyed a breakout season that started with Class A-Advanced Charlotte and finished with Double-A Montgomery. In addition to the impressive defense everyone has come to expect with a 55% caught stealing...
Rays Index Oct 27, 2014

Theo Epstein Meets With Joe Maddon And Other Rumors

Joe Maddon is in a unique situation rarely seen in sports in which a coach or manager has become a free agent on his own terms. In almost every other situation, a coach or manager remains with his team until something bad happens and he is fired. Early on, it […]
DRaysBay Oct 27, 2014
Rays plan to retain coaching staff, including Derek Shelton

Rays plan to retain coaching staff, including Derek Shelton

Marc Topkin is reporting that the Rays new brass is informing the rest of the coaching staff that served under Joe Maddon that their contracts will be honored next season. The seven coaches are all signed through the upcoming season, as former manager Joe Maddon was before opting out of his contract Friday, and are being told to plan on coming back under a new boss. Of course, anything could change once a new manager has been selected. This news has positives and negatives. The immediate positive would be for bench coach Davey Martinez, who ostensibly has high hopes of being promoted to...
DRaysBay Oct 27, 2014

NY Daily News: Sternberg shopping team, Montreal in play

Will Stu Sternberg be the next high ranking member of the Rays to abandon ship? The last time we heard rumblings of the Rays and relocation was on the twitter whisperings of a writer for Detroit, which was a vague notion at best. Now with Andrew Friedman and Joe Maddon walking out the door, those rumors are gaining more traction. according to a report in the New York Daily News, which focused on Maddon's likely route to Chicago now that he's free to explore free agency, was that Stu Sternberg has discussed moving the club out of the low attendance of Tropicana Field, and across the border...
Rays Index Oct 25, 2014

The Rays Told Joe Maddon About The Opt-Out Clause Which May Have Been A Genius Move

When news of Joe Maddon exercising his opt-out clause and leaving the Rays first broke, it seemed pretty clear what happened and that it was Maddon pulling the levers. The scenario may played out something like this: The two sides talked about a new contract. Maddon wanted $5-6 million a […]
DRaysBay Oct 25, 2014

Joe Maddon is leaving. The Rays are done.

They were already done, of course, but we fans were deluded. Blow it up, Stu. Everyone who actually bothered to read Moneyball knows that it has nothing to do with on base percentage or with computer modeling. It's a book about the impossibility of winning consistently as a small market club. Without the resources of the Yankees, the Red Sox, or -- as it pains me to say -- the Dodgers, success for the spunky underdogs in baseball is temporary. Innovation can buy time at the top, but there's no patent for OBP or accurately evaluating defense. The big boys will learn. I wanted to believe, so...
Rays Index Oct 24, 2014

Why Dave Martinez May Not Be The Manager Of The Rays In 2015

Back in September when we discussed the possibility of Joe Maddon not managing the Rays in 2015, the uneasiness of the thought was muted a bit because we knew the Rays have Dave Martinez waiting in the wings and nobody knows the ways of Maddon better than Martinez. But while […]
Rays Index Oct 24, 2014

Joe Maddon Is Not Going To Dodgers, Is Expecting ’4-5 Legit Suitors’

Joe Maddon is no longer the manager of the Tampa Bay Rays. It will take a while for that to sink in especially because it appears that Maddon doesn’t have a job lined up. The obvious speculation at first was the Los Angeles Dodgers where Andrew Friedman recently became the […]

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