What’s Left | The Process Report

What’s Left

Following yesterday’s flurry of activity, it’s probably a good team to touch base on what the remainder of the offseason should hold.

The big question remains David Price’s status for next season. Many in the industry believe it’s a matter of when rather than if the ace is dealt, yet nobody outside of the Rays’ front office can be certain. Obviously a few of the potential suitors—the Nationals and Dodgers—have added to their rotations, while a few others that expressed interest—mostly the Angels—never had the pieces to begin with. But that thinning of the market doesn’t mean Price is guaranteed to pitch for the Rays in 2014. With some of the free-agent boulders beginning to roll, it wouldn’t be surprising for a middle-of-the-pack team with an undeniable top prospect to take a run at acquiring Price should they miss out on their top free-agent targets. If not, perhaps Price does return for one last shot alongside a talented roster.

Beyond Price, the majority of the offseason holes have been filled.

Non-tendering Wesley Wright left the Rays with three returning relievers, but re-adding Juan Carlos Oviedo to the mix left them with three open spots. Heath Bell will take one of those slots and—if he’s still here come spring—Cesar Ramos could grab another. That would leave one spot for Josh Lueke and Mark Lowe to battle over. Presumably, the Rays will keep their eyes on the free-agent market for another reliever who falls through the cracks. Otherwise, the bullpen seems mostly settled.

Likewise, the starting lineup appears about in order, with the exception of first base and a starter against left-handed pitching. On that note, Ken Rosenthal reported the Rays have interest in Mark Ellis, who could serve in a triangle platoon while sparing David DeJesus against left-handed pitching. Whether that specific move occurs or not—and it probably comes down to if Ellis will accept fewer plate appearances and dollars in order to chase a World Series ring—is to be determined. You can see what the Rays are getting at though, which means the offseason is nearing the halfway point.



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