Rays Andrew Friedman Discusses Winter Meetings Day Three
The Rays came to the winter meetings with arguably the biggest trade chip in David Price  and in search of upgrading their roster at first base/designated hitter.
As we head to the finish line of the 2014 Winter Meetings neither goal has been accomplished but Friedman believes that the team has made progress.
Have the Rays made any progress on trade/free agent front?
“It’s a difficult thing to characterize. Obviously we’ve had a lot of conversations with agents and teams and I feel like we have a number of kind of mature conversations going right now that different things could happen over the next few days. But again, it’s tough to characterize, the nature of the beast when you’re at these meetings is that more things are being kicked around at a higher pace and so therefore odds are you are going to have more conversations that are more advanced but I feel like last night and today were productive.”
Is the team closer to solving the first base situation?
“I think each day that’s gone on has crystallized things for us a little bit more. I think that’s one of the areas the next few days where something could happen. That said, it may drag on longer than that but I think we’ve advanced the ball in some areas to potentially be in position do some things sooner rather than later. It wouldn’t be the first time that we felt that things have gotten fairly close on deals that take longer to materialize but there’s at least been positive momentum.”
Friedman added that he expects a resolution to the first base situation by the end of December.
“Yes, almost any move that happens in an area that we’re looking at affects things. Something positively sometimes negatively. Any and all movement has affect on us but I think we’re in good position to end up with a guy that we like a lot and a guy that will help us win games.”
Has there been any movement with the catching position?
“Yes. We’ve had conversations on that front and something that I feel like at some point we’ll figure out what we’re going to do there.”
Are you surprised by how active the Seattle Mariners have been this offseason?
“I’m so focused on what we have to do that it’s hard for me to look oustide the scope of what we need to accomplish. It’s not something I pay especially close attention to. I pay attention to moves like surplus, supply/demand and how it impacts us – but it’s always from a selfish standpoint on how it impacts the Rays what the implications are. It doesn’t do us much good to focus on what other teams are doing unless it has some kind of impact on us.”
Is there still a plan to add more team speed?
“When we talked about it – it was something that ideally we’d be able to figure out how to arrange the pieces such that we were able to add that dynamic. That said, the total game always factors in terms of the value a player creates and we weren’t going to do it at the exclusion of a more talented players. It’s one of those things that we still need to address some areas of our team and I wouldn’t rule out the possibility. In a perfect world we would but I don’t know how it’s going to line up.”
Friedman added that a speed addition would most likely come through trade as the free agent market lacks that component.
Will the Rays partake in the Rule 5 draft.
Odds are against the Rays drafting anyone despite having an open spot on the 40-man roster.