Good News and Bad News

Good news – the Rays gained two more top draft picks today.

Bad news – the Yankees just signed Rafael Soriano according to Jon Heyman who is always first to break the Scott Boras-related signings. He is reporting it is a 3-year deal for $35m – which is why he never had a chance of coming back here. That’s an AAV of nearly $12m a season for a setup man and couple this with Rivera’s AAV of $15m a season, the Yankees are paying the back-end of their bullpen nearly $27m a season for the next two years. The entire Rays pitching staff, starters plus relievers, made less than what Soriano and Rivera will combine to make in 2011.

The Rays now have nine draft picks before the second round of the 2011 draft starts; “sandwich picks” come in between the first and second round:

  • Their own (32st overall)
  • Boston’s (24th overall)
  • New York’s (31st overall)
  • Sandwich pick for Chad Qualls
  • Sandwich pick for Brad Hawpe
  • Sandwich pick for Joaquin Benoit
  • Sandwich pick for Randy Choate
  • Sandwich pick from MLB for losing Carl Crawford
  • Sandwich pick from MLB for losing Rafael Soriano

According to Baseball America’s Jim Callis, the Rays now own pick numbers 24, 31, 32, 38, 41, 51, 55, 58, and 59.

Grant Balfour is still unsigned as well. If he goes to a team like Minnesota, that will be two more first round picks for the Rays. If Balfour goes to a team whose pick is protected, the Rays would get a sandwich pick and likely a second round pick from the team that signs Balfour.

It has not been a fun off-season watching fan favorites head to the hated rivals within the division but that plethora of draft picks will help ease the pain as the Rays re-tool the roster in what will be a very deep 2011 draft pool. The added bonus is the Rays take away the top draft pick from their competitors.

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About Jason Collette

Writer/Analyst
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14 Responses to Good News and Bad News

  1. I.Welsh-Art says:

    Seems to me Rivera would be shaking in his cleats right now. He slips a bit, he probably lost his job.

  2. joedobr9977 says:

    Tim Beckham and failing to sign Levon Washington certainly do begin to ease that pain, thanks!

    • Levon ended up with a shoulder issue and Beckham was the scouting dept’s pick (Friedman wanted Posey, trusted his scouts.) Outside of those two issues, the Rays have a tremendous drafting track record. There are already front office execs moaning about the fact the Rays will control the draft board in June and will likely reclaim the top farm system honor from the Royals AND still have the core talent on the major league roster.

  3. joedobr9977 says:

    I am sure Boston is feeling it, they lost their 1st round pick to the Rays, but in return get Detroit’s 1st round pick, a HIGHER pick for Victor Martinez and get Texas’ 1st rounder for Beltre. And they get 2 compensatory selections, so again, my pain is really going away.

    • hm… 4 < 9. So 2.25x more than Boston is still not good enough? I see why the radio guys call you Angry Joe 🙂

      • joedobr9977 says:

        Tell me how many are guaranteed impact major leaguers…Casey Kelly was a 1st round pick and the Sox turned him into Adrian Gonzalez…Yet the Rays won’t trade some of their prospects or anything of the kind for position players, but they will gladly shed payroll and get prospects in which they can control service time and arbitration and then anger them when they want to get paid, they will be gone…And the circle is complete

      • joedobr9977 says:

        And if the Rays win a World Series, I don’t care how efficient they are in doing it. That is irrelevant and besides the point. I don’t care how they do, nor should you or anyone else for that matter.

        Point is Boston works the system both ways and are in a better spot in the draft, and usually are every year. Eric Gagne and Billy Wagner were acquired just for the right to get the 1st round picks which they get. Rays can’t miss on a Tim Beckham, and that’s the bottom line and if they put so much emphasis on it, then they should all, every last one of them be impactful.

      • joedobr9977 says:

        And last thing, if angry is passion and caring, then I am number one on that…You can run your Toyota Corolla like a Cadillac Escalade while I will love the certainty of knowing what I get, rather than hoping and praying that one, I scouted right, two, the player has the right development and mindset, and three, he won’t go to free agency as quickly as he can

      • Joe, you simply cannot compare Boston and Tampa Bay. One has their own TV network with an extremely lucrative revenue stream from it and a ballpark that sells out most every night and the other does not. For all of their, “right ways,” of doing things, Boston has a worse record than the Rays over the past three seasons and more than double the cost of doing business.

        The Rays got 2 sandwich picks for picking up scrap heap players like Qualls and Hawpe this year and Zaun the year before. Those moves costs less than $1.0m combined but those 3 comp picks are worth $7.8m together ($2.6m per pick).

        They’ve given deals to Longoria, Shields, Pena, Crawford, and Zobrist to avoid the unpleasant arbitration process and put more money in that player’s pocket up front. The players they’re chasing away from here either don’t fit the model (bad gloves such as Huff, Wigginton), or their projected production does not match their market value (most relievers, Pena), or their awesome production has priced them into the stratosphere (Crawford).

        They’re doing it better than Boston, and more efficiently than Boston, and you’re still complaining about it. I simply do not know what else to tell you other than apply some Preparation H at this point and call it a night.

  4. Jonathan says:

    This slew of picks is absolutely amazing. Obviously really looking forward to the draft.

    I really do like the fact that we have taken the picks away from the top competitors in the division.

    This draft is going to be the lifeblood of the team for years to come. It’s a greater influx of talent on the team at one time than we’ve ever seen before. If we can build a team the way we’ve already done, just imagine what we can do with this.

    Sure, it’s not a great situation, but it’s a hell of a lot better than getting nothing for our loss.

  5. Jason Hanselman says:

    Watching our guys play there might be painful now, but getting their first round picks not only gives us extra real solid picks it takes their picks away from them. I look forward to seeing our stream of talent continue to grow at the expense of our chief rivals.

  6. Pingback: Rays will have 11 of the top 75 picks in this year’s draft | HardballTalk

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