Odds and Ends on a Slow News Day
"Expect a series of transactions over the next few weeks as the Rays have to clear 40-man roster space," writes Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Tampa Bay will look to protect several prospects, like catcher Justin O’Conner, OF Mikie Mahtook and LHP Adam Liberatore, from the Rule 5 draft. It will be interesting to see how they shuffle the 40-man roster, and one wonders if we may be looking at some imminent cuts to the roster. The Rays have until five days after the culmination of the World Series to pick up options by utility man Ben Zobrist and RHP Joel Peralta. While picking up Zobrist’s $7.5 MM option seems like a no-brainer, picking up Peralta’s $2.5 MM option is a bit tougher of a call, thanks to a regression in productivity in 2014. It should be noted, roster space is a consideration. Topkin notes, one scenario could be to pick up Peralta’s option and later trade him.
Following the recent acquisition of Michael Kohn Thursday — the first of the Matt Silverman era — Silverman made mention that the organizations basic philosophies focusing on run prevention by stressing pitching and defense will stay in tact. However, he would like to see a renewed emphasis on being innovative and ahead of other teams.

I think everyone in the organization on the baseball side can breathe a sigh of relief that there aren’t sweeping changes, that we get to keep doing the same things we’ve been doing, Silverman said. It’s been successful in the past, and it should be successful in the future.

Odds and Ends on a Slow News Day

"Expect a series of transactions over the next few weeks as the Rays have to clear 40-man roster space," writes Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Tampa Bay will look to protect several prospects, like catcher Justin O’Conner, OF Mikie Mahtook and LHP Adam Liberatore, from the Rule 5 draft. It will be interesting to see how they shuffle the 40-man roster, and one wonders if we may be looking at some imminent cuts to the roster. The Rays have until five days after the culmination of the World Series to pick up options by utility man Ben Zobrist and RHP Joel Peralta. While picking up Zobrist’s $7.5 MM option seems like a no-brainer, picking up Peralta’s $2.5 MM option is a bit tougher of a call, thanks to a regression in productivity in 2014. It should be noted, roster space is a consideration. Topkin notes, one scenario could be to pick up Peralta’s option and later trade him.

Following the recent acquisition of Michael Kohn Thursday — the first of the Matt Silverman era — Silverman made mention that the organizations basic philosophies focusing on run prevention by stressing pitching and defense will stay in tact. However, he would like to see a renewed emphasis on being innovative and ahead of other teams.

I think everyone in the organization on the baseball side can breathe a sigh of relief that there aren’t sweeping changes, that we get to keep doing the same things we’ve been doing, Silverman said. It’s been successful in the past, and it should be successful in the future.

Rays Sign RHRP Michael Kohn
The Rays have inked a one-year contract with RHRP Michael Kohn, the club announced today. Kohn, 28, elected free agency after being designated for assignment and outrighted in early September by the Los Angeles Angels. He posted a 2-1 record and a 3.04 ERA/4.27 FIP/9.89 K9/7.61 BB9 in 23-2/3 innings of work with the Angels last season.
This acquisition represents the first of the Matt Silverman era. It also signifies what could be seen as the start of the rebuilding phase of the Rays bullpen. We’ll have a more in-depth write up on Kohn shortly.

Rays Sign RHRP Michael Kohn

The Rays have inked a one-year contract with RHRP Michael Kohn, the club announced today. Kohn, 28, elected free agency after being designated for assignment and outrighted in early September by the Los Angeles Angels. He posted a 2-1 record and a 3.04 ERA/4.27 FIP/9.89 K9/7.61 BB9 in 23-2/3 innings of work with the Angels last season.

This acquisition represents the first of the Matt Silverman era. It also signifies what could be seen as the start of the rebuilding phase of the Rays bullpen. We’ll have a more in-depth write up on Kohn shortly.

Royals Sweep Orioles, Headed to the World Series

It’s hard enough to sweep one series much less two — especially in the postseason. Yet the Royals not only did that, they went 8-0 in their eight playoff games. As for Ned Yost, he became the first manager in MLB history to win eight consecutive postseason games. Congrats to James Shields and Wade Davis, and the rest of the Royals.

We’ll have our World Series preview once the NL end of things gets sorted out.

Royals Sweep Orioles, Headed to the World Series

It’s hard enough to sweep one series much less two — especially in the postseason. Yet the Royals not only did that, they went 8-0 in their eight playoff games. As for Ned Yost, he became the first manager in MLB history to win eight consecutive postseason games. Congrats to James Shields and Wade Davis, and the rest of the Royals.

We’ll have our World Series preview once the NL end of things gets sorted out.

Breaking; Andrew Friedman Leaving the Rays for the Los Angeles Dodgers (Updated)

I wrote earlier about the move of Andrew Friedman to the Los Angeles Dodgers: http://tampabayrays.co/breaking-andrew-friedman-leaving-the-rays-for-the-los-angeles-dodgers/

Below are a handful of updates following the 5:30 press conference. All of the hyphenated items come courtesy of Marc Topkin. We’re working hard to find audio of the press conference.

—Sternberg said he has always considered Silverman the top choice to take over if Friedman ever left, that he is “absolutely the right person.”
—Silverman said they will maintain the same basic philosophy, but there will be some new ideas they will incorporate as well.
—Sternberg said Friedman won’t be taking anyone from baseball ops with him.
—Silverman said it was “a very difficult day” for him in seeing Friedman leave, but he was confident they would return to their winning ways.
—Silverman said he has no plans to hire a GM or a senior adviser, and also that he doesn’t expect to be in the job for 10 years, as Friedman nearly was. Expect expanded roles for assistants Chaim Bloom and Erik Neader.
—Sternberg said Auld will get involved in stadium talks “when and if they progress.”
—While there has been considerable speculation about the future of Rays manager Joe Maddon, who is under team control through the 2015 season.

Per Marc Topkin, Maddon told the Tampa Bay Times he isn’t looking to go anywhere and is “positive” there will be talks on an extension.

I’m a Ray, I’ve said it all along, I want to continue to be one,” Maddon said. “I still believe … it’s the best place in all of baseball to work but I also stand by fact that ballpark needs to be improved.”

Maddon mentioned that there is “no rush” to get an extension done, and he wants to give the revised front office time to get comfortable.

President and CEO of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Stan Kasten told Los Angeles media that he expects Don Mattingly to remain their manager for the upcoming season.