Rays Hire Former Yankee Pitching Coach Eiland

Awards and roster changes on the offseason agenda

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18 Total Updates since October 18, 2010
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Rays Deal Bartlett Plus Player To Be Named To San Diego For Four Players

St. Petersburg, FL (Sports Network) – The Tampa Bay Rays announced Friday that they have finalized a deal that will send shortstop Jason Bartlett to the San Diego Padres for four players.

In the trade, the Rays acquired pitchers Adam Russell, Cesar Ramos and Brandon Gomes, as well as infielder Cole Figueroa.

The Padres will also receive a player to be named later from Tampa Bay.

It was no secret that the Rays were trying to deal the 31-year-old Bartlett, who is eligible to become a free agent after the 2011 season and was due a raise from the $4 million he received in arbitration a year ago from Tampa.

Bartlett struggled last season, hitting just .254 with four home runs and 47 RBI. His disappointing year was a far cry from a remarkable 2009 campaign that saw him bat .320 with 14 home runs and 66 RBI.

In the right-hander Russell and left-hander Ramos, the Rays get a pair of hurlers who could very well be a part of their 2011 bullpen. Russell appeared in 12 games for the Padres last season and pitched to a 4.02 ERA without recording a decision.

Ramos, a first-round supplemental pick by the Padres in 2005, has worked sparingly in San Diego the past two seasons, appearing in 19 games, two of which have been starts. He is 0-2 with a 6.26 ERA, but has struck out 19 batters in just 23 innings.

Gomes spent all of last season with the Padres Double-A affiliate San Antonio (Texas), while Figueroa has spent three seasons in the Padres’ farm system.

12/17 19:19:28 ET

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Carl Crawford signs with the Boston Red Sox

Outstanding outfielder Carl Crawford signed a huge deal with the Boston Red Sox Wednesday. The contract is worth $142 million over 7 years, an average of over $20 million per year. That’s the most ever paid to an outfielder in the history of the game, and the ninth largest contract of all-time.

Given Crawford’s performance in left field and at the plate, he’s obviously worth the money. But the Red Sox home field at Fenway Park has the smallest left field in baseball. As mentioned by Steve Slowinski at DRaysBay, $20M is a lot to give someone who would basically be relaying baseballs after they carom off of a monster of a wall.

Red Sox blogger Ben Buchanan suggests the team will attempt to convince Crawford to move to center field. But Crawford has been reluctant to play center field in the past. We’ll have to see how it pans out.

As for the Tampa Bay Rays, they will get a first round draft pick in exchange for Crawford.

By the way, DRaysBay continues their push to give Crawford a proper send-off. As of late Wednesday night they are still a bit short of their goal in taking an ad out in the paper to thank Crawford for his time here in Tampa Bay.

The deadline for collecting donations is Sunday, so if you have enjoyed watching Crawford play these past nine seasons as a member of the St. Pete nine, go over there and consider chipping in a buck or two.

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Rays Will Deal Bartlett To San Diego

Although not officially announced, the Rays have reached an agreement to trade shortstop Jason Bartlett to the San Diego Padres in exchange for relief pitchers Adam Russell and Cesar Ramos.

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Cubs Sign Carlos Pena To One Year Deal

Carrie Muskat of MLB.com is reporting via Twitter that the Chicago Cubs have signed Rays free agent first baseman Carlos Pena to a on- year contract, believed to be in the $10 million range. A formal announcement of the signing is expected later today.

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Two Rays Named As Top Fielders

Rays outfielder Carl Crawford and third baseman Evan Longoria have been named 2010 Rawlings Gold Glove award winners. The award recognizes the best fielders at each position in each league. It’s the first time Crawford has won the award. For Longoria, it’s consecutive wins as he won the honor for the first time in his career last year..

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Rays Now Have 11 Free Agents

The Tampa Bay Rays today decided not to pick up the 2011 options on relief pitcher Dan Wheeler and utilityman Willie Aybar.
Wheeler was due to make $4 million next season, received a $1 million buyout and is now a free agent. Aybar was due to make $2.2 million in 2011, received a $275,000 buyout, remains under the team’s control and is arbitration eligible.
In addition, the Rays purchased the contract of switch-hitting infielder Elliott Johnson and added him to the 40 man roster.

TAMPA BAY RAYS FREE AGENTS
Grant Balfour (A)
Carl Crawford (A)
Rafael Soriano (A)
Dan Wheeler (A)
Joaquin Benoit (B)
Randy Choate (B)
Carlos Peña (B)
Rocco Baldelli
Brad Hawpe
Gabe Kapler
Chad Qualls

A = Type ‘A’ Free Agent: Rated in the top 20% at his position by Elias Sports Bureau.
B = Type ‘B’ Free Agent: Rated between top 21% and 40% at his position by Elias Sports Bureau.

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Longoria Honored As Top Fielding Third Baseman

The Tampa Bay RaysEvan Longoria has been named the 2010 Fielding Bible Award winner for third basemen, presented by The Bill James Handbook.
Selected by a panel of ten experts, the Fielding Bible Awards name the best fielder at each position (including pitcher) in the major leages. This is Longoria’s first time being honored.
Other Rays receiving consideration for the awards include previous three-time award winner Carl Crawford in left field (2nd place), second baseman Sean Rodriguez (5th) and rightfielder Ben Zobrist (8th).

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Rays David Price Wins Players Choice Award

David Price’s peers in Major League Baseball have recognized the lefthander’s remarkable 2010 season by awarding him the Players Choice Award for Outstanding AL Pitcher. The Players Choice Awards, sponsored by The Major League Baseball Players Association, annually honor the outstanding player, rookie, pitcher and comeback player in each league, as well as Player of the Year and Man of the Year awards without regard to league. Balloting for the Players Choice Awards was conducted in September among members of the Major League Baseball Players Association.
Previous Rays to be honored include Carlos Pena (2007, AL Comeback Player) and Evan Longoria (2008, AL Outstanding Rookie).
Price, a contendor for the AL Cy Young Award was 19-6 with a 2.72 ERA this season for the AL East champions.

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