Hot-Stove: A Winter Meetings update of sorts

It’s been an interesting last couple of days. First the Rays acquired James Loney from the Boston Red Sox, signing him to a one year, $2MM contract. Then late last night Tampa Bay signed Yunel Escobar to a one year, $5MM contract with two $5MM options for 2014 and 2015.

Former Ray Jeff Keppinger signed a three-year, $12MM contract with the ChiSox. Now Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the pen may lose a very familiar face, “It seems less likely they will be able to retain J.P. Howell given the size of contracts some other lefty relievers are getting, such as Randy Choate getting $7.5-million over three years from St. Louis.” The Rays could potentially fill the holes in the pen with Cesar Ramos (who’s out of options) and Brandon Gomes, and either Josh Leuke or Dane De La Rosa. I tend to think that De La Rosa would be a better fit.

Tampa Bay is still seeking a DH and either an outfielder or a righthanded first baseman to platoon with Loney. Better yet, they’re searching for someone who can do both. Might the Rays be sniffing out free agent 1B/OF Nick Swisher? Things that make you go hmm…

“I think we’re narrowing down the potential scenarios in how we construct our roster,” executive VP Andrew Friedman said in an interview with the Times. “There’s a few potential outcomes that are really exciting to us and we’re going to work toward trying to make them materialize.” Thursday marks the end of the 2012 MLB Meetings. Might we see a few other big moves before the meetings come to a close? I wouldn’t be surprised if Friedman has another trick up his sleeve.

Leave a comment