Thursday, November 8, 2007

No Untouchables

Rays General Manager Andrew Friedman told the media earlier this week that none of the players on the Rays roster were untouchable. He went on to say that they will listen to offers for any of their players, including Scott Kazmir, Carl Crawford, BJ Upton, Delmon Young, and Evan Longoria. Friedman did not say that they were on the block, but said that they would listen to offers for any of their players.

Many Rays fans heard this news and figured what else is new and complained again about the management and the way the team is run. They have heard the rumors of Crawford to the Chicago Cubs, Rocco Baldelli to Minnesota, and Scott Kazmir to many different places and assume they are going to happen after Friedman's statement. Rays fans need to take a step back and read what was actually said by the Rays and look at where some of the rumors are coming from before they get all up in arms about the management.

The Rays have never said that they are looking to trade any of their players, all they said was that they would listen to offers. If the Padres were to offer Jake Peavy, Chris Young, and Heath Bell for say Delmon Young and some one else should the Rays just say no because Young is untouchable? The Rays know what they need to make this team better and have shown that they are going to build with their young players, but will need others. To make players off limits just because they are good would hamstring the team from making deals. Even if they have a high price they can listen and it opens up dialog with other teams throughout the off season. The Rays said that no one is untouchable, but they never said that they are willing to trade their best players for nothing in return or for prospects. Rays fans are a bit skeptical and have a right to be with how this team has been run in the past, but they must remember this is a new group and they are trying to move on.

With all of that being said, I do disagree with the way this all came about. It is one thing for a GM to tell other GM's in the meetings or privately that they are willing to listen to offers for anyone, but another to address the media about it. Players need their egos stroked from time to time and the last thing you would think they want to hear is that they are replaceable. Now that is not what was said, but just like fans they will read it anyway they want. We have already heard Kazmir voice his concern that he won't sign a long term deal until they get veteran help in here, and Crawford has also had similar complaints. If these guys do not feel like they are being listened to they may feel shunned by the organization and make it harder to deal with them or want out. Sometimes you have to let information known, but I think this was a case that could have been handled a little better.

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