Results tagged ‘ Jason Kubel ’

Could There be a Last Minute Rays Holiday Gift?


We all know that the holiday season’s spirit is centered around the fact of giving and sharing with our fellow-man. No matter your religious affiliation or the exact calendar date to commemorate your joyous celebrations, every team within the MLB wants to bring about a joyous cornucopia of unexpected presents to their faithful fans base, hopefully adding a few well placed good tidings and joy as we are now under 50 days until Pitchers and Catchers officially report to Spring Training.

47-22045-YWith all of the recent unwrapping of surprising player signings and a surplus of some tremendous talent that has some MLB rosters bursting at the seams like Santa’s red jacket, a team like the Tampa Bay Rays could very easily come a-caroling in the waning moments of the holiday with bushels of prospects and MLB ready personnel with hopes of possibly adding a few additional player ornaments to their own tree before the blessed holiday season comes to an end.

Whether it be by trade, free agency or even minor league deal with a Spring Invite, this is the perfect time for the Rays to get in the giving mood, and possibly get some glad tidings in return who could be instrumental pieces of the Rays own game plan as they head into the Spring of 2013. With that in mind, I’m going to pop on my Rays Santa elves cap and throw out a few names that I would pen onto my “Wish List” going into the final holiday moments.

pMLB2-14358184dtWe all know the Rays have been eagerly searching and awaiting the perfect additions to their team to the Designated Hitter position, and possibly a right-handed First Baseman who could platoon with newly signed James Looney to provide a bit more stability and flexibility to the Rays past offensive woes. With that in mind, here are a few names I have penned on my own list to Santa Sternberg hoping he will pass these on to his dedicated Master Elf, Andrew Friedman.

I was a bit perplexed the Rays have not entertained a trade towards their expansion brothers the Arizona Diamondbacks in regards to outfielder Jason Kubel. I had Kubel higher on my list of potential targets heading into this time of the season than Justin Upton, especially since Kubel could be brought into the Rays fold with mirror salaries of $ 7.5 million expected over the next 2 seasons.

Sure Kubel played mostly a corner (LF) outfield position in 2012, but he does have ample experience as a Designated Hitter in the American League after his tenure with the Minnesota Twins and his salary is within the Rays general range for DH candidates who can also play an outfield position during the InterLeague schedule. What might make the D-Backs an ample trading partner is the fact the Rays have a few pieces both in experienced MLB infielders and budding pitching prospects who could make this deal happen fast with the recent addition of OF Cody Ross to the Arizona ranks.

jljljljljThe only Grinch factor in Kubel is the fact he is a left-handed bat, but that should not hinder the Rays in trying to acquire a talented bat who knows how to play duo roles for his team.

That is just once possible present the Rays could possibly foster before the 25th day of December, and there are even a few I have penciled in from my second favorite squad, the Seattle Mariners who could also be great additions to the Rays fold. Some say the Rays were unwise to have traded John Jaso to the M’s when they had a few questions as to their catching corps. Jaso is only one of the Three Wise Men aka Emerald City edition I have picked as potential trade offerings the Rays could get for some well-placed sprigs of Frankincense Myrrh and possibly a few Gold shekels.

pMLB2-10673665dtAlong with Jaso I would include 1B/DH Justin Smoak and the aptly named C/DH Jesus Montero who all 3 have become a bit expendable with the recent Seattle addition of 1B/DH Kendrys Morales and return of prodigal favorite Raul Ibanez. This overflow of potential First Baseman and Designated Hitter candidates make any of the 3 possible shining stars for the Rays to pluck out of the night sky possibly for not a lot of the aforementioned spices and metal. Jaso might be a long shot to return, but the possibility of a switch hitting DH/1B like Smoak or even an additional catching option and DH like Montero should have the Rays quickly on the phone inquiring about these 2 Wise choices for their current lineup holes.

With the Rays recent signing of Roberto Hernandez to an incentive laced contract for either starting or relief duty, I feel he might either be a rotation fit or an ample candidate for the Rays now vacant long-relief spot with the trade of the team’s 2012 incumbent Wade Davis to the Royals. Even with the Rays young stable of budding relievers at the Triple-A level, it might be a prudent move to acquire or sign an experienced relief pitcher until the Rays youngsters show they are up to the task.

51XzsXn37XL__SL500_AA300_Right now with the duo of Kameron Loe, Jon Rauch and Jason Frasor all still out in the cold as free agents, possibly could come at a low-cost for the Rays as well as add some extra  veteran experience and ability to the Rays Bullpen as right-handed relief options. With the Rays overflowing with leftie options with Jake McGee, Cesar Ramos and possibly Alex Torres, the left side of the relief corps might have stability for at least the next few years (barring injury).

Loe would be the younger relief candidate at 31, with Rauch (34) and Frasor (35) and both having previous closer experience that sometimes is vital for a team to overcome even the slightest of late inning setbacks in the American League East. And wouldn’t it be wild if the Rays signed Rauch and added Jeff Niemann as their long reliever. The team could have the “Twins Towers of Terror” with each rising above the 6 foot 9 inches.

smg-giftbbtamwrBut that is what is great about the holiday season, some times you get completely surprised, and other times you can find just what you need under the tree to fulfill your dreams and needs. These are just a few of the viable options still out there or being put up on display as we begin the final push of the holiday season. My only real question now is are the Rays still seeking the right gifts, and are these teams brimming with overflowing roster in the holiday mood to give more than they receive?

Tendering Some Love to the Players…….Tendered Players 2008



The Greatest thing a player can learn on a day like today is how much his club loves what he does on the field for them. But sometimes even that get a bit blurred and the images seems to fade a bit before the reality comes that you either have a new start somewhere else, or you contact your old team and see if they just wanted you at a cheaper price.


Every December 12th, the MLB goes through this  sadistic tactic of non-tendering and tendering contracts to the arbitration eligible players on their rosters. Some people are shoe-ins to get picked up because of talent or maybe even a low cost towards the next year budget. Others are looked at under a microscope and the decisions might come down to dollar signs and not talent or ability.






That is the sad reality of this date. You could be an up and coming talent, or a veteran that just had an off year and you could be looking for a job in a heartbeat after midnight tonight.  Also, just because they decided to offer you a contract doesn’t mean that the wheels stop turning and you might still be dealt to another team and they will make the decision on your fate again, and maybe at a financial disadvantages.


So on and on tonight I will be adding to this blog until I have a final idea of who, what where, when and why might pop up and bite some unsuspecting player on the buttock. Seriously here, there will be some surprises tonight. Some players might be getting held ransom for a financial sacrifice, while other might be rewarded for unforeseen changes in their game or ability. Which ever come about, it is not the end of the world or a career with any of the players tonight.





Everyone will find a place to play in 2009, it might not be the town you are currently playing in, but it also might turn into the best decision of your life. Just because you came up with a certain club does not mean that there are not other staffs or coaches’ salivating that your name is on the list tonight. People always have choices in life. The path we take is not predestined as many believe, but they are earmarked with signs and signals we either adhere to or avoid.


The players on this list still have had the honor to play at a level that few people ever achieve in life, on or off the ball field. And with that in mind, you have to remember the sacrifices and the sweat and tears that got you to this level will be rewarded again.


So as we embark on this night when some believe a dream has ended, you have to remember that through every closed door there is another opportunity maybe even down the hall. Here is the list of the guys who got the love and admiration of their clubs tonight. This list will be in no certain order, but will be update throughout the night.



Tampa Bay Rays:

Gabe Gross                                        ( OF )

Dioner Navarro                                  ( C )

Jason Barlett                                     ( SS )

Willy Aybar                                       ( INF )

Grant Balfour                                    ( RP )



Kansas City Royals:

Esteban German                              ( INF )             1-year contract

John Buck                                       ( C )

Mike Jacobs                                    ( INF )

Mark Teahen                                   ( OF )

Brian Bannister                                ( SP )

Kyle Davies                                      ( RP )

Jimmy Gobble                                 ( SP )

Zack Greinke                                   ( SP )

Joel Peralta                                      ( RP )




Florida Marlins:

Jorge Cantu                                      ( 3 B )

Dan Uggla                                        ( 2 B )

Cody Ross                                        ( OF )

Jeremy Hermida                               ( OF )

Rick Nolasco                                    ( SP )

Josh Johnson                                   ( RP )

Alfredo Amezaga                             ( RP )

Logan Kensing                                 ( RP )

Dallas McPherson                             ( INF )



Philadelphia Phillies:

Shane Victorino                               ( OF )

Ryan Howard                                    ( 1 B )

Ryan Madson                                   ( RP )

Jayson Werth                                   ( OF )

Eric Bruntlett                                   ( INF )                   1-year contract

Clay Condrey                                   (  RP )                  1-year contract

Joe Blanton                                      ( SP )

Cole Hamels                                      ( SP )

Greg Dobbs                                      ( INF )

Chad Durbin                                    ( RP ) 



Seattle Mariners:

Eric Bedard                                     ( SP )

Aaron Heilman                                (SP, RP ) 

Felix Hernandez                              ( SP )



San Diego Padres:

Scott Hairston                                  ( OF )

Luis Rodriguez                                ( INF )

Jody Gerut                                       ( OF )

Heath Bell                                        ( RP )



Atlanta Braves:

Kelly Johnson                                   ( INF )

Matt Diaz                                          ( OF )

Jeff Francoeur                                  ( OF )

Mike Gonzalez                                 ( RP )

Omar Infante                                    ( INF )

Casey Kotchman                              ( 1 B )



Boston Red Sox:

Kevin Youkilis                                ( 1B )

Jonathan Papelbon                        ( RP )

Javier Lopez                                  ( RP )



Minnesota Twins:

Jason Kubel                                   ( D H )

Matt Guerrier                                 ( RP )



Los Angeles Dodgers:

Russell Martin                                ( C )

Andre Ethier                                  ( OF )

Johnathan Broxton                        ( RP )



Oakland Athletics:

 Rob Bowen                                   ( C )          $ 535,000    1-year contract

Justin Duchscherer                        ( SP )

Jack Cust                                      ( OF )



Chicago White Sox:

Dewayne Wise                              ( OF )              1-year,  $ 550,000 contract

Wilson Betemit                            ( INF )              1-year    $ 1.3 Million contract



Detroit Tigers: 

Ramon Santiago                           ( INF )           1-year  $ 825,000 contract

Marcus Thames                             ( OF )

Fernando Rodney                          ( RP )

Bobby Seay                                   ( RP )

Joel Zumaya                                 ( RP ) 

Justin Verlander                            ( SP )

Edwin Jackson                              ( SP,RP )



Cleveland Indians:

Kelly Shoppach                              ( C )



Chicago Cubs:

Chad Gaudin                                  ( RP )               1-year  $ 2 million contract

Ronny Cedeno                               ( INF )

Reed Johnson                                ( OF )

Neal Cotts                                      ( RP )                1-year  $ 1.1 million contract 

Mike Wuertz                                  ( RP ) 

Kevin Gregg                                  ( RP )



San Francisco Giants:

Jack Taschner                                ( RP )



Toronto Blue Jays:  

Jason Frasor                                  ( RP )

Brian Tallet                                    ( RP )

Brandon League                            ( RP )

Jose Batista                                   ( INF )



Pittsburgh Pirates:

Nate McLouth                                ( OF )

Adam LaRoche                             ( 1 B )

Ryan Doumit                                 ( C )

Zack Duke                                    ( SP )

John Grabow                                ( RP )

Tyler Yates                                    ( RP )

Paul Maholm                                ( SP )



St Louis Cardinals:

Rick Ankiel                                  ( OF )

Chris Duncan                               ( OF )

Todd Wellemeyer                        ( RP )



Colorado Rockies:

Garrett Atkins                               ( 3 B )

Clint Barmes                                 ( 2 B )

Jorge De La Rosa                          ( SP )

Taylor Buchholz                           ( RP )

Jason Grilli                                   ( RP )

Huston Street                                ( RP )



Cincinnati Reds:

Edwin Encarnacion                       ( INF )



Milwaukee Brewers:

Seth McClung                                  ( SP, RP )

Prince Fielder                                  ( 1 B )

Rickie Weeks                                  ( 2 B )

J J Hardy                                        ( S S )

Corey Hart                                       ( OF )

Dave Bush                                       ( SP )



Washington Nationals:

Ryan Zimmerman                         ( 3B )

Josh Willingham                          ( OF )

Scott Olsen                                   ( SP )

Shawn Hill                                    ( RP )

Willy Harris                                  ( SS )                           2-year  $ 3 million 



Houston Astros:

Brandon Backe                              ( SP )

Geoff Geary                                   ( RP )

Wandy Rodriguez                          ( SP )

Tim Byrdak                                   ( RP )

Jose Valverde                                ( RP )

Humberto Quintero                        ( C )



Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim:

Chone Figgins                              ( 3 B )

Robb Quinlan                               ( INF )

Maicer Ituris                                 ( INF )

Ervin Santana                              ( SP )

Mike Napoli                                 ( C ) 




As tonight comes to a close at midnight, the name will still be pouring in and this liost might not be totally complete by tomorrow afternoon. But I will do my best to be sure that you all have the latest listing of all players tendered contracts on December 12th.


I will also so a listing of the players who are deemed free agents now that their respective teams have put them on the open market. That listing might be a bit different as I want to block everyone into their respective positions, instead of teams for the non-tender list.


I will have that listing working by tomorrow afternoon and I have not decided yet if I might make prediction on what might happen to those players. As the night grows and the list gets longer, I will determine if that would be entertaining and informative to all of you.