I asked a few weeks ago for some questions via Twitter in regards to the Tampa Bay Rays. Since the market has been so slow, I wanted to address any questions out there people may have. I also included a couple of questions I received that were not posted online. Most of these questions, of course, revolved around Chris Archer and what his future looks like.
Q: Do you think they trade Chris Archer?
A: Earlier this offseason I would have said yes instantly. I would have said he would have been gone before Evan Longoria. However, it seems more likely Jake Odorizzi leaves instead of Archer. I believe the asking price will certainly be high for Archer as it should. Of course, the way the market and this offseason has been, things could change. I’m going to say no right now.
Q: Should the Devil Rays really trade Chris Archer, or is he more valuable just in keeping and building around as new face with ELong gone? (@CRASHsports1)
A: The Tampa Bay Rays haven’t been in the playoff hunt the past few years. They seem to always get around 80 wins. They were a hot team at times during the season but fizzled off and couldn’t get back up. It’s a tough call, and I have seen arguments for both. I read an article in the Tampa Bay Times that suggested the Rays model after the Houston Astros by getting top players that lead to a World Series title. If you’re going to trade Evan Longoria, you might as well trade others.
Q: Were you surprised by the Evan Longoria deal?
A: I was surprised, but I also wasn’t surprised. The rumors had swirled around for a while, however, I thought Archer would go first. I’m still shocked that the deal happened especially since he was the face of the franchise and he’s known for pivotal moments in Rays history.
Q: Who see replacing Longo at third base?
A: When the Rays went out and got Christian Arroyo, I knew right then that he would be their guy. I could see him playing a different position and Daniel Robertson playing third base in a game, but overall I think it is Arroyo. Patrick Leonard, who spent the last couple of years in the Rays minor leagues at third base, signed with the White Sox as a minor league free agent so that ended any question of 3B in my opinion.
Q: Why has the free agent market been so dang slow? (@benjamin_washer)
A: That’s honestly a really good question. It’s definitely not due to a lack of players available. I was thinking it would be some sort of domino effect where some trade propels the market, but it doesn’t seem to be the case. Something has to move and hopefully it’s soon.
Q: Who’s staying, who’s going in the outfield/ DH department? (@JasmineS033111)
A: As it stands today, I see a rotation coming of Corey Dickerson and Denard Span in the roles of outfield and DH. Kevin Kiermaier and Steven Souza Jr are safe. As far as Mallex Smith, I think he’ll see more of the outfield time or he becomes more of a bench player, but with his speed and bunting abilities a bench spot could be coming.
Q: Which Rays prospect are you most excited about? (@jermainebowie15)
A: This is kind of a hard choice to pick just one, but I would say Brent Honeywell, not just in regards to his hair, but the way he pitches. He’s the top prospect of the Rays and he is ranked in the top 20 overall. I have yet to see anyone throw a screwball yet. When he will get a call up remains a mystery.
Photo Credit: Kim Klement USA Today