Tampa Bay Rays Betting On The 2013 Pennant Race
December 10, 2012 in Sports News
The Tampa Bay Rays are up to something. Making plans and looking for ways to take a run at the pennant next season. They are trading out some guys and contracting replacements. They are spending some money. Making some long term future bets that could pay off big if the Rays can make it to the playoffs next year.
Up in Nashville last week at the Winter Meetings there was much speculation that Tampa Bay would be trading off some of its coveted bull pen staff for some more hitting power. Insiders were skeptical and, as it turned out, correct.
The Rays pitching staff remains intact for the upcoming season.
They have just made a deal with the Marlins for shortstop Yunel Escobar in exchange for Minor League infielder Derek Dietrich. Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman commented, “Yunel is a quality Major League shortstop. He is a good defender and has occasional pop. We feel like he really helps solidify our infield defense.” Signing Escobar will also allow the Rays to take advantage of Ben Zobrist’s ability to shine at multiple positions.
B.J. Upton is gone, signed with the Braves. Jeff Keppinger has gone to the Windy City to play for the White Sox. The Rays avoided going to arbitration with Sean Rodriquez by agreeing to a $1,000,000 deal with the talented infielder this week.
Closer Fernando Rodney will be back for the 2013 season after winning the GIBBY (Greatness in Baseball Yearly) as MLB’s “Closer of the Year and well as having been selected to participate in his first ever All-Star Game in 2012. Rodney was also named the American League Comeback Player of the Year and the Delivery Man of the Year. Quite a season for the 35 year old pitcher from the Dominican Republic. He will be a major voice is how the Rays fair in the upcoming season alongside lefty David Price, Joel Peralta and “Big Game James” Shields.
Tampa Bay is expecting great things from these guys next year.
The Rays are also said to have their eyes on Free Agent Mark Reynolds aka “The Sheriff of Swattingham” to add his considerable hitting power to their offense.
And lest we forget….All Star third baseman Evan Longoria just signed a deal to stay in Tampa Bay through the 2023 season for a whopping $100,000,000!
Watch out for those Rays.