Matt Garza Trade Reviews

I have been in Minneapolis all day today for a same-day work trip so I while I have been traveling, some of my favorite people have been writing some excellent reactions to the trade today. Here are my favorite pieces about the trade today:

Tommy Rancel – ESPN1040

This is one of the more complex trades made in the Friedman Era. On the surface, it looks like the team is giving up some ground in 2011, but Hellickson’s transition should ease that pain; especially if it comes with a big-time DH. The prospects coming to the Rays may not be considered studs, but add to an already impressive system. Lee is a few years away, but might have the most upside in the trade while Archer, Guyer, Chirinos, and Fuld could end up contributing in 2011

Dave Cameron – Fangraphs

Whether they use their new-found budget room to sign Manny RamirezJim Thome,Vladimir Guerrero, or Johnny Damon, the Rays will be adding something like a +1 to +2 win DH to their roster. When you add that value to the extra innings they can give Hellickson and the addition of Chirinos as catching depth, it’s pretty easy to see the Rays actually coming out ahead of what they had with Garza still on the team.

Even if they hadn’t also acquired three other prospects from the Cubs, this was a deal worth doing for the Rays. The fact that they get additional future value simply puts this over the top as a big win for Tampa Bay.

Bradley Woodrum – DRaysBay

As a Cubs fan, I’m pained to see them trade away prospects for a pitcher of whom they already had several — especially since he’s going to a flyball-unfriendly park with an average-at-best defense behind him. As a Rays fan, I’m actually fine with seeing Garza go — he was never one of my favorites.

But still: There is no such thing as a lose-lose trade. Most MLB trades tend to be win-win, just with varying degrees of win. Both teams were trading according to their situation: I think the Cubs suspect they will need starters in 2012 and 2013 (Garza will be around through 2013), and the Rays would prefer to put Garza’s cash towards a DH (I’ve heard rumors of Vladimir Guerrero, uh, yes please).

Still, we are entitled to believe in what we want. Some may choose to believe in Santa Clause until their dying day. But I never believed in Santa, and I rather liked this trade (for the Rays).

R.J. Anderson – The Process Report

The bottom line here is that this is how the Rays are forced to do business. In an ideal world, they could’ve re-signed Garza days after he won the 2008 American League Championship Series Most Valuable Player award. That’s not reality though. This isn’t quite the Edwin Jackson or Scott Kazmir trades either. Jackson underperformed with the Rays, while the Rays felt Kazmir’s contract was too risky to hold onto. Instead, it’s the most complicated trade in franchise history. One necessitated by the economics of the game, but one softened by the Rays’ extraneous starting pitching surplus.

Nothing about this trade is an implication that Garza underperformed during his time in St. Petersburg, or that he lacks talent. He did about as well as the Rays could’ve imagined when they acquired him for Delmon Young. But like the other big piece in that Young trade, Garza’s time with the Rays is nearing its end and another level of the trade string will begin. Well wishes to Garza and Perez as they enter a new phase of their careers, hopefully with success.

This trade isn’t the doings of a nefarious plot to strip the team of its assets or to harm the fan base. It’s business as usual.


About Jason Collette

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32 Responses to Matt Garza Trade Reviews

  1. davidbloom says:

    How many prospects do the Rays need? Unfortunately a lot since the Rays move from a team who can’t keep their players to one which can’t even afford them before they enter free agency. This one is more on Selig than Stu since baseball economics is not spiltting the profits. Sad day as when Sternberg got here he said they would try to model Twins not Expos.

    • They are the Twins – they’ve signed core players to deals (Longoria, Crawford’s 1st deal, Shields, Zobrist) and are building from within the organization. The Expos signed nobody and just let everyone walk or traded them away.

  2. davidbloom says:

    As far as value Rays found an eventual replacement for Garza and then some. Hate losing Garza and trade didnt solve roster holes of 2k11. There is hope that they could do something now but not too positive on it since they are on PR lockdown

    • buccityboy says:

      This trade absolutely did solve roster holes for 2011. Guyer becomes a potential platoon partner to Joyce in RF. Chirinos could pair with Jaso should Shoppach struggle again or either of them be forced to miss time(fairly likely at some point). Archer profiles as a dominant closer should the Rays decide to go that route. Its entirely possible he makes appearances out of the pen for the big league club this year. Fuld provides a bit of depth at the upper level and might even make the roster if B.J. is traded.

  3. I.Welsh-Art says:

    I loved Garza, but I have to put my personal affection towards a player aside for this deal. Complicated, yes, beneficial, yes, controversial, yes. We didn’t really care one way or another when they traded Bartlett, Crawford going to the land of funny accents and Sam Adams we did care about. Garza has been such a big player for us since 2008 that we fans see this as them selling the farm. But the fact of the matter is this trade helps prevent another season like this one, where everyone is questioning the viability of a winning record cause we have no contingency plan. They actually listened to the fans and the writers and picked up some wood with this one. Trading a arm for some hitters isn’t a bad thing with us. Like Jasons said, we have a surplus of pitchers and not enough hitters, this gives us that. Potentially hitters that can come up soon.

    I equate to buying a savings bond, sure you waste $50 bucks for a potential investment but when you cash it in isn’t it great? These guys showed early promise, didn’t one of the guys hit 58 homeruns last season in the minors? WE NEED THAT! I loved Garza, but power is next to godliness in the Trop. So is the ability to buy more of it.

  4. joedobr9977 says:

    I agree with David Bloom on this. Rays are chasing their tail and have admitted at least indirectly with this trade they may have missed the boat on Tim Beckham.

    As far as the economics go, this trade reeks to high heavens. If you are a good player worth your salt coming up through Tampa Bay’s system, you may as well take the team to arbitration and go year to year for maximum financial benefit for the player, but the team wants to buy you out through arbitration and buy into your free agency. That is where the problem was with Garza, and to a lesser extent Scott Kazmir and where it IS with David Price.

    This team has no problems paying out for pre arbitration impact players and if the player (like Sheilds or Zobrist or Longoria) wants financial security but giving up tens of millions of what I think is fair market money the player is entitled to, then sure commit to the “Rays Way”. If not, you are a pariah like Matt Garza and BJ Upton and the team will ring you out over going year to year.

    I have seen this game long enough. Stu Sternberg has said “this is who we are”. I am always going to be a fan of Tampa Bay baseball and Rays baseball, but I am SICK of a owner berating fans and conniving with media partners locally and nationally to STICK it to fans for his ignorance. I know how good the Rays may be, but still it is time for NEW OWNERSHIP in Tampa Bay!!

    • Joe, I simply cannot agree with you on this emotional over-reaction. Ownership and General Management are widely recognized as one of the best in baseball by their peers and experts. 2 divisional titles and one league title in 3 years and this is a bad thing?

      What you think is fair market value for a pitcher doesn’t matter – it’s what the front office thinks is fair market value. Garza could have easily been afforded in 2011, but it gets murkier beyond that. Understand that pitchers rarely earned what they are paid in their final arb years and their free agent years because they’re being paid for what they have done and not what they are going to do. Kevin Brown earned his salary just once in his final four seasons of baseball – Zambrano hasn’t earned his since the 2006 season.

      The Rays’ model of success is built upon a model of consistent refreshing of talent and moving a player like Garza is the best way to do that. They got more in return for 3 years of Garza than the Royals got for two years of Zack Greinke. Greinke is easily the better pitcher between the two but that extra year of control makes all of the difference in the eyes of the other team.

    • Jason Hanselman says:

      Worst.. take… ever. Take your meds, Joe.

  5. Pingback: Dust has settled after Matt Garza trade, what’s everyone saying? |

  6. joedobr9977 says:

    We shall agree to disagree. But this is a different deal in that we are moving a player who is just entering arbitration and there is a fear about paying this player. And that should be unfounded. We disagree about the amount of impact on the team. I think the team is deficient offensively and a player like Joyce has yet to be given the opportunity to be something more of a perceived platoon player. But I argue if you, play, and play well, then you have to accept what the Rays want you to do.

    The best way for this to be fixed is through a better Collective Bargaining Agreement. Service times accrued towards free agency need to be lengthened.

    As Scott Boras himself said in Orlando, the “house is not finished”. I know what that “house” is but then again, is that what we all want? Isn’t being THE best what it’s all about, THE model, THE example? Isn’t there a selling value of winning just ONE World Series title?

    The argument is nebulous, because if David Price continues to produce, then the Rays will simply have to pay, and pay up and pay huge. And being “smart/frugal” is not going to get you to the end result.

    You are arguing a process that makes you good over years, what I am arguing may or may not argue that, but it will be a run at the whole kit and caboodle. And then we go from there.

    • Did you not have similar reactions to Scott Kazmir being dealt away? When Aubrey Huff was dealt away? Those two players, entering their pricier days, returned Ben Zobrist, Sean Rodriguez, Alex Torres, and Kelly Shoppach (by extension of the Talbot deal). This organization has a sketchy track record with FA signings given they can typically only play with the older free agents, but their trade record is rather amazing. A lot of people, smarter than me, are signing the praises of this trade such as Keith Law, Dave Cameron, and Jim Callis.

      Traded for:
      JP Howell
      Matt Joyce
      Ben Zobrist
      Evan Meek (albeit let him slide in Rule V)
      Dan Wheeler
      Grant Balfour
      Matt Garza
      Jason Bartlett
      Willy Aybar
      Gabe Gross
      Gregg Zaun
      Rafael Soriano

      He gave up:
      Aubrey Huff
      Joey Gathright
      Delmon Young
      Edwin Jackson
      Aki Iwamura

      From SI:
      “1. Andrew Friedman, Tampa Bay Rays
      For as much praise as the Rays have received over the last few years, they’ve probably deserved even more. Over the last three years they’ve spent just a million dollars per marginal win, the sort of thing that gets baseball wonks to draw hearts around pictures of Friedman. Maybe the best example of their method is the preposterous contract to which they signed Evan Longoria during his first days as a major leaguer — if the Rays exercise all the options in the contract, they could end up paying him less than $50 million through his age 30 season, which makes him the single most valuable commodity in baseball. Friedman has also won a pennant and maintains one of the game’s best farm systems. It may seem absurd to say of a 32-year-old whom few people had heard of a year and a half ago, but he and his braintrust are the best in baseball.”

      With all of that, I’m not sure why this front office continues to be looked down upon with what they are doing. They were given a tarnished asset, and in six years, has made it one of the most successful teams in baseball (10 games behind the well-financed Yankees over last three season) and have its farm system as the 2nd best in all of baseball. It is a model of success that is sustainable and in order to sustain it, the talent must be continually replenished. I don’t want to see this team run like the Houston Astros were once Hunsicker ran away screaming from McLane where they continued to retain talent past their cost effectiveness while ignoring the farm system.

  7. joedobr9977 says:

    The Kazmir trade only bothered me on the timing end of it..3 games out of a wildcard and they may, emphasis on may have got a better return on him after the 09 season. What they got in Sean Rodriguez STILL remains to be seen, but some of the initial returns based off of 10 are good.

    As far as Huff goes, it was time for him. But he did a great job when he was here, and for some reason, he isn’t thought of fondly.

    I do not know why this team is as financially “challenged” as they say they are. I don’t agree with that. Why are they looked down upon? Simple. It’s because they deliberately shortened their deck when their deck didn’t need to be shortened. The ownership has decried that Tampa Bay cannot sustain higher payroll levels. Are you saying that Matt Garza on this staff would be a “trinket”? Matt Garza is a LCS MVP and can win any given game against anyone at any given time. Of course, we know this.

    It’s as if they are stuck on cost-effectiveness and would like to be Baseball America champions as much as playing “meaningful September games”. Sure you may be able to do both, but where does it get you in the end?

  8. Peter Gammons speaks

    “The vision of the Rays deal makes one think they can be an upper echelon team for years, despite the ballpark. No retreat years in sight”

  9. joedobr9977 says:

    And Peter Gammons is the same man that Stu Sternberg has gone to for DELIBERATE MISINFORMATION about Rays radio ratings and tv viewership. Now who the heck are Peter Gammons’ two sources?!

    This is a man who has said some disgusting stuff about the fans of the Rays and the area itself.

    • Gammons’ comments only build upon the praise given by other sharp baseball minds. I’m not sure what other evidence you need to prove that this trade was not done as a rebuild move but as a reloading move.

  10. davidbloom says:

    What Rays are doing here with Garza and Bartlett is cashing in their value (when its high) before the value regresses. It is indeed smart, and sort of what Billy Bean has done with closers. Beane uses the theory closers are made and not born where he takes a starter and makes them a reliever and not having to pay market value for a closer.

    I Rays have indeed become the Twins at this point based on their success. However, its just like the guy sitting next to you at the ball game saying its hard to root for name on the back of the jersey, since the team won’t keep them around long enough. That was my point is that teams will continue to come to Rays over the years for major league ready talent (because they can’t keep them) the way the Expos operated in similar fashion.

    Joe brings up some points you should consider taking a look at rather than personally attacking him.

    Like, this is the same Peter Gammons who over the past year used the attendance issue many of the national media has. Have they looked overall the bad economy and attendance being down in MLB?

    What about Sterneberg and crew getting more creative about attracting fans to the games the way some minor league teams do?

    The Rays did what they could to reach the post season last year but at the same time did not sacrifice any key players like the Rangers did. Is this the right decision at the time or would a player of Lee’s value been something worth it if it meant a trip to world series?

    This much is clear. The Rays have set themselves up for the long term. But, would you think that they are making more money than the 30 million payroll they plan to use in 2011? The Marlins got in trouble for not using the money they received from Yankees and Red Sox. I personally think the sharing of revenue that they receive should be used for player salaries.

    • If they were selling Bartlett at high value, it would have been last year when it was at peak. This year, they were fortunate that the shortstop market was barren which made Bartlett look like the last decent woman left at the bar at 1:55 AM. Garza was the same thing – he was better in 08 and 09 than he was last year despite the 15 wins and the no-hitter.

      Until Loria took over the Expos with the outright intent to move that org, the Expos were a great model. Loria took over the team in 2000.

      67-95 (and gave away Brandon Phillips, Grady Sizemore, and Cliff Lee)

      The strike is what killed interest in Montreal as that club was 34 games over .500 when the strike came on and that club was a lot like the 2008 Rays in that nearly every player on the team was under the age of 30. In fact, Randy Milligan and Jeff Gardner were the only players on that team that were 30 years old. Those Expos were not able to retain some of their guys as well as Andre Dawson had to leave, Gary Carter had to leave, Tim Raines left, Larry Walker left, Jeff Reardon had to leave, and yet the club kept on ticking. From 1979 through 1999, the Expos had just six losing seasons despite one of the smaller budgets in baseball. If people want to compare these Rays to those Expos, I’m fine with that.

      In my opinion, Joe’s comments are most specious as there is a significant body of work from most of the brightest writers in the game that refutes what Joe has stated. I have tried to politely point that out; Hanselman is entitled to his own approach and there may be some history there from previous interactions in other message boards.

      Gammons did walk back his comments on ratings after he made them saying he was given bad information and the economy note has been overlooked by everyone covering this story as they think the problem is the same everywhere. If Detroit can draw at their great park with their four-generational fanbase, the first generation Rays fans should be able to draw the same in the worst park in the American League is some crazy logic put forth but the national media.

      Sternberg and crew were the first to set up the Saturday concert series, the Friday night night club, they’re considered to be one of the best values in baseball, and their promotional efforts were considered to be the best in all of baseball for 2010. Besides giving the tickets away to every game as they did for the final game of 2010, I’m not sure what else they could do.

      If the Rays would have sold the farm to get a 3 month rental of Lee, there is no guarantee they would have struck the same type of gold that the Marlins did in the past. After all, Cliff Lee did not deliver a World Series to Philly in 2009 and Roy Oswalt did not deliver a World Series in 2010 to them either and the Phillies emptied their farm system to make those deals.

      The Rays have to worry about more than just financing the 40 man roster in 2011. Friedman said yesterday what I said a few days ago – the saved money on Garza will be reallocated. It is no mistake that all of the bats that were on the market were going elsewhere since Werth’s crazy deal skewed the market but that is now coming back to Earth and there are DHs to be had and good relief options left. The Rays also have as many as 10 or 11 draft picks to negotiate with this summer and after their issues in 2008 that caused them to pass on Posey and 2009’s top two draft picks not signing, the club had to make this deal AND make sure they have cash on hand to properly handle this slew of picks. Keith Law said it yesterday on Twitter – he had a scouting director mock-complain to him yesterday about how many picks TB will have.

      If they’re taking money from revenue sharing and investing it into scouting, draft picks, and the international efforts, I’m fine with that because this process is nothing without a constant refreshing of talent.

  11. joedobr9977 says:

    From a pure baseball standpoint, there is nothing at all wrong with the trade. Trades are made from two perspectives, one talent exchanged and two, TIMING.

    This trade in totality with what Stuart Sternberg has said in the past, is accuate. Stu Sternberg has not told a lie. However, I argue that this was the wrong time to take the foot off the gas pedal as far as effort is concerned. And I know how you would argue and counter what I would say.

    They Rays have put themselves, agree or not, in a perilous spot in violating the spirit of the revenue sharing and competitive balance clauses of the CBA. I would suspect that they will rectify this with acquisitions in the time ahead, but nevertheless, the unwillingness/inability to pay a second year arbitration eligible pitcher a fair contract because he makes too much for your liking has some terrible undertones to it. Does this team want to pay fair and pay up and pay long term if players are worth it and indeed command that kind of money?

    Thus, yes, long term this is the best they did given the owner’s “marching orders”. But I question those marching orders and the reasons why this team’s stability is as questionable as Matt Silverman and Stu Sternberg say it is. And again, what is better over a long term, a guaranteed no doubt shot at a World Series winner or consistency at about 84-88 wins (good case) if you get breaks, good hitting and overachieving performances from unsung players and sources?

    Note about Peter Gammons and Stu Sternberg and their message. Something I learned as a kid and now as a professional adult. Just because they tell me something or say something doesn’t make it right or true. Two years doesn’t make or break a baseball market. If Stu truly feels like he’s given up, then he should sell and give it to someone who will be patient with the market, fans AND political and civic leaders. Stu should be commended for what he has done, but the message needs to change NOW or risk losing more casual fans.

    • It is taking the foot off the pedal if you think the drop-off from Garza to Hellickson is drastic. It is taking the foot off the pedal if the club doesn’t take the cash savings and put it into a DH and another reliever.

      The club would have comfortably paid Garza his money if they did not have Hellickson where he is at this point of his career but since they cannot currently afford the open market hitters, they traded from a strength to reallocate the cash to spend on hitting. They’ve given Crawford, Zobrist, Shields, and Longoria deals to avoid arbitration and even buy out a year of free agency in the past so spending money has not been the problem. Their trade record has been extremely strong as well.

      While Cork Gaines and I don’t have the greatest of relationships, he said something the other day I’m in complete agreement with:

      The message from Sternberg has been the cold hard truth for the most part. Given his track record of success in his professional life and that of Gammons, I tend to take what they have to say at its merit which I hold in high esteem.

      The message that needs to change NOW is the one from fans who think the 2011 season is over before it has begun. It is the same message Bucs fans had that said the club would win 4-5 games tops — look at what they pulled off this season. This club, as it stand now, is one of the three best in franchise history and yet people are canceling season tickets in protest. Unreal.

    • staplemaniac says:

      If the issue is TIMING then when would you rather have had them do this trade? Mid-season? Next winter? What if the trade wasn’t about money, but instead they thought Garza wasn’t going to produce like he has in the past. Like Jason said, his best seasons were 2008 and 2009. Look at these k/9 numbers by month:
      In 2009

      A 9.3
      M 7.1
      J 6.5
      J 9.2
      A 9.2
      S 9.2


      A 8.7
      M 5.7
      J 7.5
      J 6.5
      A 6.1
      S 5.3

      The basic principle is this: better to move a player too early than too late. If he has a bad season next year, then we HAVE to move someone to make room for the other pitchers in the system. Then we don’t get ANYWHERE near the haul we did in this deal. Would you think the Rays were punting the season if they started Hellickson in the minors had they not moved Garza?

  12. joedobr9977 says:

    I am unsure you understand. It’s not an either/or question. Why not have it ALL? Think big? Think large?

    As far as the starting pitching staff, you are correct, I think this team can pick up any lost slack Garza had. I understand that. Games, let alone championships are not won in a board room, stat room or sabermetric class room or Skype conference.

    The problem is that there is no buzz about this team. Even David Price has commented on the lack of moves, positive moves, reinforcment type moves that bolster the “NOW” approach of winning. Again, why not acquire a Cliff Lee at a deadline? Make the fans compelled. Make the fans excited. Obviously, that hasn’t worked, because fans are upset, and I am one of them.

    Again, I know what the Rays are doing. It’s smart, I get that. But the owner is saying the market isn’t “big league” to be retaining Garza, who if he was a free agent, would get an eight figure multiyear salary if he was hypothetically on the market.

    Stuart Sternberg has NOT done his homework. I will believe that to the end. Yes, this team will compete and be good, provided they shore up the offense a bit and staple up the bullpen. But he is not connecting with fans.

    Why not BOTH Garza AND Hellickson and go from there?

    • Why waste a talent like Hellickson in the bullpen? Or, why move Niemann to the bullpen when he has something like 3 relief appearances in his life. You don’t take a premiere pitching prospect like Hellickson and put him in the bullpen when the role is essentially slightly above replacement level. Just look at the collection of DFA’d talent the Rays have picked up for the bullpen and how well they’ve done – Balfour, Benoit, and Choate to name a few.

      There is no buzz because the club has only been subtracting rather than purchasing the overpaid contracts that dominated the December marketplace. Now that jobs are drying up, the Rays are moving around dollars to play in the market as they have what other teams can’t offer — playing time. If they would have purchased someone with a crazy salary in December, I would have been as vociferous with my buzz as the critics have been towards the Rays this off-season so far. Fans have wanted them to react to what Boston has done and that’s how bad business is done.

      What Garza’s open market value would be is irrelevant because the Rays would have to pay him another ~$25m to get through the next 3 years to get the chance to get draft pick compensation for him. Why do that? They just netted three draft picks for him (Archer, Chirinos, Lee) got 2 more for throwing in Perez and the lower prospect. They got what they wanted whereas there is no guarantee the FA comp pick even signs with the club as we saw in 2009.

      One of the best value teams, the best promotions, free parking, carry in your own food, and he’s out there every opening day shaking hands with the fans. Should he do what John Henry does and sell membership cards to join Ray nation?

      Again, Joe, you’re being specious here.

      • Joe-
        You said it yourself that they are being smart so what’s your point? It’d be foolish to deliver 20% of your budget to one starter, especially one that – forget it – not ripping Garza – just he’s not the guy you put 20% of your payroll into.
        Who cares what David Price says about moves the organization is saying? He’s a player. His responsibility is not signing free agents or making trades.
        Cliff Lee? How would that have made a piss-lick of difference? That wasn’t the weakness of the team. Had we made a move for Cliff we would have lost some of our insanely talented farm arms.

  13. joedobr9977 says:

    You don’t see Niemann as someone with his injury plagued past, maximizing his value and putting him in the pen and doing something a little different?!

    There are ways to bring everyone in the fold and make you stronger. Again, its the difference about marginalizing your talent and maximizing it. Niemann could work just like Sonnanstine did and Sonnanstine did pretty well in his role, whenever asked.

    Why didn’t the Rays trade Crawford then using the same logic? They could have gotten a better return in a trade then take the 1st round pick and the compensatory pick? The ONLY way keeping Crawford I believed was the BEST baseball move is if they won the World Series. Playoffs and postseason is ok if you want the gate money, you sell prestige and brand and PRIDE winning and hanging your hat on being the best that there is. So no, they didn’t maximize their asset by not reinforcing the importance of the season. And if you make a mistake, like Pat Burrell, which ANY team will make mistakes, then you still move forward and you go on. It’s about ego and drive. The business is to win, not be marginal.

    • He has 10 relief appearances in his entire professional career dating back to 2005 – making him a reliever would be different. For one, the word is he takes longer to get loose than the average pitcher. Secondly, he’s so slow to home plate that he’s a detriment in late innings with runners on base. For a 5th overall pick, he’d have to be a closer in relief to justify any such switch and I don’t think that’s a good role for him.

      The Rays did not trade Crawford because they signed him to that new deal in 2006. It would have been best if they had traded him after 2009 or at the deadline this year, but the club correctly projected they would be a contending team. Any team that would have wanted Crawford would have paid a high price in mid-2009, but that would have been it. The Rangers giving up Smoak for 3 months of Lee was the exception to the rule.

      If you can’t feel PRIDE for a franchise that has won 2 of the last 3 divisional titles and made it all of the way to the World Series in 2008, I do not know what to tell you. Boston would kill to do what the Rays have done over the past three seasons; their average payroll has been $156m while the Rays have been $53m. Take PRIDE in the fact your hometown team is doing it three times better than the “next guy.”

      Sean Rodriguez said it today,

      “I looked at the players we got for Garza. We got some pretty good players, some legitimate prospects. It’s no wonder what we’ve been able to do the last few years with players who are, compared to the Yankees and Red Sox, we’re underpaid in our division. Drafting guys, getting guys in trades, the minor-league staff does a great job because that’s where a lot of these guys come in. They do a great job of scouting players. You don’t just get lucky that many times.”

      I’ve conversed with a few members of this front office this off-season and I have no doubt their desire to repeat as division champs and go back to the World Series as they did in 2008 is as strong as my desire is to see that happen. They’re not in this for the sweet seats and chartered planes rides – they could be more profitable in other walks of life but they have a passion for the process and the team that we as a fan base should be grateful for.

  14. joedobr9977 says:

    I have PRIDE in that!! What I don’t have PRIDE in is the events of the final home game of the season, the litmus tests, the FIVE BETTER CITIES than Tampa Bay comment that came from Stu Sternberg himself.

    I care the DICKENS about Tampa, St. Pete, Clearwater, my home Oldsmar, Palm Harbor, Tarpon Springs, Westchase. MLB adds prestige and allure to the area and is an ASSET that all can have, the honor of being BIG LEAGUE. Not withstanding the fact they have wrongly taken off the geographic monicker on the road uniforms, I wear my Rays colors with pride and dignity. I don’t feel that way about Stu after this summer and may never feel that way again.

    My point is there is a difference about winning the way you said and winning the whole thing. Yes, the league is messed up. Yes, the Rays have to be more creative. But they have gone too far back. It wasn’t necessary. Why can’t I as a fan demand more from an owner? I do not think my level of expectation is incorrect over a top 15 television and media market. My appetite has not been whetted yet. And if they do well this year, great, I am happy. But there is more to it then what you are saying.

    And as far as the “cost effectiveness” goes, IT DOESN’T MATTER, whatever it takes to win it, to get the player YOU want, you PAY IT. Sometimes creativity doesn’t matter, passion must be the driving force. Saying money won’t be an obstacle at the deadline and coming away with Brad Hawpe sounds disingenous.

  15. joedobr9977 says:

    What about Stu Sternberg and his litmus test he had plausible deniabilty over on the final game of the season? What about the FIVE BETTER CITIES comment he made to the editorial boards of both papers in June when he said he wanted to explore all of his options. Sounds like an owner who has had it with the fans to me.

    MLB in Tampa Bay is something I have bellied up and relished and was incredible when Stu brought success after the doldrums of Naimoli. But Stu has became impatient and illogical with his beliefs of the fans. MLB is an asset and a source of pride. Its a source of added value for me as someone who is from Oldsmar and people in Tarpon Springs, Palm Harbor, East Lake, Westchase, Clearwater and folks from Homosassa down to Pt. Charlotte can take pride in. And this is the same owner who took the geographic identifier on the road uniform when he said it would be for ONE YEAR. ONE YEAR!!! I take pride in the Rays and having MLB in MY area but I want a CHAMPION of MY area that my parents live and I want an owner who won’t make me feel guilty over his unconditional faity in the club@!!

    I used to think like you, but with events that have taken place, I have given a ton of pause to Stu Sternberg and Matt Silverman. Again, I am unsure if you know what kind of PRIDE I am talking about. I want this team to be the BEST, not just bridesmaids. And creativity will get you ONLY so far! I know what road they have to travel, but don’t complain to me about it!

  16. joedobr9977 says:

    I want an owner who is a champion of my area and my town and who is willing not to berate or go through intermediaries in whipping people into a frenzy and using his national media partners to disrespect and denigrate good people. Stu could have kiboshed that but he showed me who he was. He could easily ask people to one, remind people that this is the Tampa BAY Rays and two, he could have understood and be more empathetic to his fans KNOWING he had record, and I mean incredible record televison rating numbers. Those are real people, with real passion and more pride than what I have. That is where Stu lost me. I want Stu to personally communicate. I have tried to ask them about my questions with respect and politeness and I have never got a response. They don’t owe it to me. I know that. But talking through the surrogates and channels they do have, well, I don’t subscribe to it.

    But nevertheless, I WILL LOVE THIS TEAM! Maybe not the people behind the scenes, you can, I won’t. I want this team to succeed.

  17. joedobr9977 says:

    What about the false expectations he brought up near the trading deadline about “money not being an obstacle” and simply ending up with Brad Hawpe? Cannot that be interpreted wrongly by the most passionate fan? Stu was never accountable for that, nor has he been accountable over the fiasco of the final game of the regular season or his five better cities comment or the things he said at Yankee Stadium in the final series in New York. That is accountability.

    • It takes two to tango on a deal. If they were out there asking and people wanted an arm and a leg, it doesn’t make any business sense. That can only be misunderstood by the irrational fan.

      The Phillies gave away nearly everything their farm had left for Roy Oswalt and it did not get them to the World Series. Making moves guarantees nothing but once Smoak was dealt for Lee, people wanted Desmond Jennings or Jeremy Hellickson for their soon-to-be free agent and making that move would have been incredibly short-sighted if not insane.

      • joedobr9977 says:

        I am going to let you be on that…But yes, there is no such thing as a guarantee. But you can double down and protect yourself in a situation like that. You can virtually always get your player if you are creative enough in a trade. The Red Sox got Gonzalez while not giving up Jose Iglesias. Sometimes, a short-sighted deal, that “over the top” push deal is a good deal and is worth taking that risk on. And I will never know what the discussions on a deal are but the “theory” of making that push over the top deal is something I believe in.

  18. Pingback: Tweets that mention Matt Garza Trade Reviews | --

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