There isn’t much to write about today. Sure, I’m sure I could whip up something on the All-Star Game, though I cannot help but feel that there is a far greater narrative embedded within the Rays’ battle to stay relevant going into the symbolic second half of the season. That is, I’m more concerned with my team making it to the playoffs in the first place, than I am with which league will receive home field advantage in the World Series. Nevertheless, I was able to cull together a few Rays-centric, newsworthy items bulleted below.
- ESPN’s Mark Simon put together an interesting graphic of which starting pitching staffs allowed hard-hit contact least often. Spoiler alert: The Rays are ranked second.
- It is sounding as if Brian Anderson’s prediction, that David Price will not be traded before the July 31 trade deadline, could be coming to fruition. Ned Colletti, General Manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, (lauded as one of the top contenders for Price) was quoted as saying, “Any deal for a top-tier player would require the Dodgers to trade prospects,” adding, “probably more so than yours truly would like to part with at this particular time.” He went on to say, “Based on what I know of who can be acquired, even those of upper-echelon ability that are going to require more than others, I don’t see us doing anything that’s going to tear apart the farm system,” Colletti said. That’s not to say there aren’t viable contenders for Price, within or outside of the Rays’ league of division, i.e.: the Cardinals. However, if the last few weeks have done anything, it’s bring clarity to a few things related to the rumors surrounding Price:
- As I mentioned previously, if Tampa Bay can continue its winning ways, the chances of a Price trade (or Zobrist, for that matter) are drastically reduced.
- Despite acknowledgment that the Rays would be willing to trade Price within their division, it’s hard to see anyone but Toronto having any realistic interest. Even then, a deal with the Blue Jays would call for a premium price — that is, two of their three top prospects. (Aaron Sanchez, Daniel Norris, and Dalton Pompey) The Mariners have also been touted as a landing spot for Price, however it’s hard to see Seattle landing Price without parting with Taijuan Walker. Which brings us full circle, back to the Cardinals.
- Super dick, urm…agent Scott Boras was caught, once again, calling out Tampa Bay. “I’m not buying it, even if you were to agree that the city — and not the stadium and its location — is the problem. Price is on the block because of the Rays’ place on the win spectrum, not (just) because they can’t afford to extend him,” wrote Justin Bopp of MLB Daily Dish. I concur.
- In related news, MLB commissioner Bud Selig said of the Rays, “It’s obvious they need a new stadium.” He went on to mention that the demographics of our small market “are good.” He also spoke highly of the exhibition games in Montreal prior to opening day, calling them “very impressive,” though he declined to address possibility of any relocations. Per Mark Topkin, Selig said repeatedly that the Rays stadium/overall franchise situation is in (Rays Principal Owner Stu) Sternberg’s hands, and there could be progress by Selig’s January retirement.
- Scott Grauer of DRaysBay took a different look at the Rays’ pitching depth.
- Don’t forget, our next watch party is in three short days: