Rays Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman discussed the state of the Rays during the first full day of the winter meetings.
“One of the main benefits of the winter meetings is to get all the teams together under one roof and there is definitely an accelerator to the various talks your having when your all under one roof.”
“With the attention that these meetings get it makes people slightly more willing and aggressive to try do something while we’re here. So all that is a benefit to all of us while we are having these conversations.”
Progress on any front:
“Yes. I think we spent more of the day talking to teams than we have agents. For the most part, a continuation of talks we were having leading up to the meetings. Some of them have more legs, some less, and some that aren’t as viable but all of the information we’ve gotten is helpful in figuring out where we go from here.”
Are talks focused on one specific player/area or variety?
“Variety. There are certain guys that we’re targeting that we’d like to acquire via trade. There’s other guys we have that teams are targeting – they don’t necessarily line up. Somewhere we’ve been the aggressor and others where others have been the aggressor.”
First base pursuit via trade or free agent?
“I don’t know. Our job is to figure out really understand and appreciate the supply/demand and to really get a sense of the number of guys that fit for us which is different with maybe what might fit with another team. There’s certain guys and skill sets and profiles that we may like more. So, we have x number of viable candidates so its about lining it up and figuring it out what the percentage chances are of getting are first target, second and working it down it and just trying to make sure when the music stops that we have a chair and that we are happy with the outcome. That’s what we’re really focused on so how we end up doing that I don’t know right now.”
Will the team venture outside to get a starting pitcher?
“I don’t think so. I like the five that we have. We really like Odorizzi a lot. I don’t know yet how things are going to play out but with Jake did last year, both in Triple-A and the experience he got at the major league level that he’s deserving of a chance to pitch in the big leagues.”
On Colome, He didn’t have a procedure and he is just rehabbing at the Rays academy.
On Romero, “I’d love for Enny to go and knock the door down in Triple-A but obviously I don’t know how things are going to play out but in a vacuum looking at his development path I’d love for him to have that year in Durham and knock the door down.”
On Hak-Ju Lee‘s progress after the ACL surgery.
“He’s doing really really well. He’s worked extremely hard and he spent a bunch of time with Joe Binge and Joel Smith rehabbing. Everything is as good as we can ask – that being said we don’t really know. He’ll be in spring training and he’ll be doing some physical activity whether he’ll be a full go or not we don’t know yet. We’re optimistic about the future whether that’s March or April I don’t know.’
About the bullpen?
“By nature we’re not ever content. We like the compilation of arms we have and feel like there is some real high upside guys in the mix that we like and feel like the balance right and left is good etc. That being said we’re going to continue to be opportunistic and if we find something that makes us better we’ll be aggressive to do something but we feel like at least as we sit here today we are in pretty good shape but like most things we’d like to get better.”