The Tampa Bay Rays are already making big splashes this offseason. Of course everyone is interested in what happens with David Price in the next few weeks as this trade seems to be warming up. They should get a better package then what they got with James Shields and Wil Myers last season. First base remains to be in question as many teams with bigger wallets are interested in James Loney. Resigning Jose Molina to a two-year deal was a certainly a surprise to many Rays' fans. They also added depth to the catcher position with Ryan Hanigan who they acquired in a three-team trade with the Cincinnati Reds and Arizona Diamondbacks. Hanigan does have a cannon behind the plate which will the help Rays’ pitching staff as teams try to steal. Does this mean Jose Lobaton will now be on the move? Taking three catchers to camp is rare for the Rays. Tampa Bay also added experience to the bullpen with veteran Heath Bell in the three-team trade where Tampa Bay gave up a minor league pitcher in Justin Choate. Heath Bell and Juan Carolos Oviedo in the bullpen will hopefully help limit down the Rodney scares; which will be a great thing for fans as Tampa Bay blew way too many games just last season.
Some fans may say Heath Bell is a has-been and Hanigan is nothing special but these types of players seem to come into the organization and excel with the Rays. Joe Maddon knows how to get these kinds of players to put out maximum effort night in and night out. This is a fun team to play for and I'm sure Heath Bell and Ryan Hanigan are excited to be part of the American League East and play for a great coach like Joe Maddon. Don't be surprised if Sean Rodriguez or Matt Joyce turns into trade bait to help add more depth as well.
This team is going to continue to make moves with their small payroll. Andrew Friedman is a genius when it comes to this and the farm system. They need to be aggressive and pull the trigger with the David Price situation. It does not benefit the Rays to wait until next season to trade David Price. All signs show this could be done very soon as talk with the Seattle Mariners and almost a dozen other teams are going on. This is definitely to be a busy month as they need to figure out whom to put at first if they can't resign James Loney. Maybe Vince Belnome is the answer. They acquired him from the San Diego Padres this offseason. Will he be called up? He is only a Triple AAA player but this may be his spot to shine on first base this season.
There is much speculation with the Seattle Mariners being interested in David Price. They already got Robinson Cano if they could trade for David Price these would definitely be some big time additions to this organization. Seattle does have some interesting young prospects with their 21-year-old pitcher in Taijuan Walker. We need a first baseman. So why not throw in Justin Smoak at first base too with some more prospects and make a deal. This month of December will certainly have lots of movement all around Major League Baseball. But will Andrew Friedman and the front office go ahead with a huge trade this month? We will all find out soon enough. All eyes are on Rays and this situation as this offseason continues with the trade rumors surrounding David Price.