Andrew Friedman Discusses Payroll, First Base, & More At Winter Meetings

Andrew Friedman Winter Meeting Notes Day Two

The Rays remained quiet through the second afternoon of the winter meetings but Andrew Friedman took a few moments to answer the medias questions.

Yesterday’s comments are provided here (link) and today he answered questions regarding if there is pressure to trade any player, how the roster is constructed, will the team take a step back in 2014 in any scenario, the first base market, and payroll.

Does the organization feel any pressure to trade David Price or any specific player?

Friedman_WinterMeetings“I don’t comment on any specific player.”  He continued, “Our long standing goals as we head into any off season is to try to thread a very narrow middle which is to be as good as we can be in the upcoming season and continue to keep one eye on the future in terms of being able to sustain our success as long as we can.”

Every player on the roster is judged differently, “some guys make that much more difficult to compete in the upcoming year and some guys fit in much better in sustaining success.

“Every guy in an organization has a different fit in how the help us in the short term and how they fit us in the long term and it’s our job to kind of navigate that to figure out how we put together the most competitive team we can.”

Is He Comfortable With Team As It’s Constructed Now?

“Short of what we would do at first base I think we have a chance to be really good. Obviously, that’s our goal and looking at it from a run prevention standpoint we feel like were in good position to keep runs off the board. If we’re able to improve on that the rest of the winter all the better.

“From a run scoring standpoint obviously we need to figure out what we’re going to do at first base but having DeJesus all year, having Wil Myers for a full season I mean there are things in there that I feel like will make us a better offensive team but obviously we want to get better on that front as well.”

Is there a scenario, a series of moves, that would make the team NOT a contender in 2014?

I can’t imagine. It’s not at all what we’re focused on. It’s not what’s driving us when we wake up every morning as we sit here in December as we talk about every year is to play competitive games in September. It’s too lofty to sit here in December and say we expect to win the American League East. We’ll talk about that in Spring Training and figure out where we are but we feel like were in good position to play competitive games in September. Then, once you kind of get to a point where you feel comfortable there its about continuing to get incrementally get better and put ourselves in as good of a position as we can.”

Progress on first base market?

“We’re getting more clarity. I wouldn’t characterize anything as imminent. I think we’re getting more information that’s helpful in our decision making process.”

Friedman added that he doesn’t have a sense of whether the addition will be via free agent or trade.

Have you been given any directive from ownership on payroll?

“No, we’re in constant communication on moves that we are making and things that are potentially in the pike and just talking through the ramifications in terms of what it means in terms of a payroll standpoint – what it means from a prospect standpoint – so, there are certain scenarios that we’d move our payroll higher if it meant keeping a prospect that we really valued a lot.

“Conversely, it works both ways, so I think it’s just so many different variables that go into it. As we’ve talked about since 2006 we don’t have a hard and fast number. It’s much more about trying to fill out  a roster within the limitations. To have some give and take with that is just helpful in terms of how we plan and how we try to be opportunistic. If we had too many restrictions on every different facet on how you acquire players it becomes really restricting and not as feasible to react quickly to things that come up which happen a lot.

He did say it seems as if the payroll will be higher than last year.


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