Rays Notes: Boras Spouts Off, Friedman On Roster, Renovations, Coaches
The Rays offseason is just beginning but already there has been plenty of discussion surrounding the team.
Most recently Super Agent Scott Boras took to the microphone and chose the time to pile on the Rays and their attendance issues suggesting the team may be better off in New Jersey.
Marc Topkin at the Tampa Bay Times has all the great quotes from Boras – here is just a taste:
About the teams situation he replied,
“I would say the Tale of Two Cities, the one they’re in and the one they should be in.”
But he wasn’t done,
“The one that’s going to support them to the level of the performance of the team, and the Tampa Bay market, both in what they provided for a stadium and what they provided for attendance for the quality of the play has not been consistent with what we’ve seen with other major-league markets. When you have a team that successful, there’s teams that are drawing 2.5 to 3, over 3-million for that kind of performance.”
And when asked where he thought the Rays should move to:
“I think there’s a lot of cities that may attract them. I don’t know, maybe New Jersey would like that winning percentage.”
Andrew Friedman discussed the teams early offseason plan but I wouldn’t read too much into it.
This is the same organization led by Stuart Sternberg who said prior to the winter meetings in 2009 that, “There’s no $7 million closer showing up.” Only to have Andrew Friedman worked a deal for Braves closer Rafael Soriano  and then negotiated a 1-year $7.25 million contract to be the teams closer. It’s still good to catalog what a GM says prior to the winter meetings and then look back later.
Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune spoke with Friedman and a few of the highlights below:
Friedman won’t close the door on bringing free agent Fernando Rodney  back but says of the closer role:
“We’re not looking as much as we need to get a closer as I’d really like to add another high-leverage late-inning option,”
“Friedman would like to re-sign first baseman James Loney , though the free agent will command more than the $2 million he made in 2013. As with Rodney, the chances of Loney’s return will depend on Loney’s offers from other teams.”
Friedman would not discuss the David Price  rumors.
In other news the Rays announced that they are doing renovations at Tropicana Field. It is believed that the Batters Eye restaurant will be converted into an open air meeting place and connecting the right-field and left-field seating area providing a complete 360-degree walkway around the park. Stuart Sternberg said:
“We continue to invest significant dollars to create the best fan experience at Tropicana Field we possibly can.”
Source: Tampa Bay Times 
The Rays have agreed to bring back all of their coaches on two year contracts that will match Joe Maddon  who is signed through 2015. Dave Martinez , who had interviewed for the vacant Chicago Cubs managerial position, will return as bench coach. Jim Hickey  will resume his duties as pitching coach and Derrick Shelton will return as hitting coach. Jamie Nelson  returns as the assistant hitting coach and catching coordinator. Tom Foley  will return to the Rays for his 13th season and will be the teams first base coach while George Hendrick  will return for his 9th season and will be the first base coach. Stan Boroski will be the bullpen coach.
The Cleveland Indians have hired away minor league hitting coordinator Matt Quatraro to be their assistant hitting coach and have hired former Toronto Blue Jays hitting coach Chad Mottola .
Source: Tampa Bay Times 
Rays Notes: Boras Spouts Off, Friedman On Roster, Renovations, Coaches by Steve Kinsella