The Tampa Bay Rays have not played baseball in a couple of months but it has been a busy Ray’s offseason so far. The latest news is that outfielder Kevin Kiermaier received an American League Gold Glove Award as many fans expect this to be his first of many. Kiermaier was no top prospect out of college but has given then Rays much needed security in centerfield. This was a well-deserved reward and is the fifth Gold Glove award for the Rays all-time. Kiermarier was all over Sportscenter all season long with fantastic leaps, grabs, and dives in center. He had the most assists in the American League and is very proud of his reward. Kiermaier definitely deserved this award and it was good to see him get nationally recognized for his great play. Longoria finished in the top three for his Gold Glove but did not receive the award.
The Rays also made a big splash just a few days into free agency. The Rays traded Nathan Karns, Boog Powell, and C.J. Riefenhauser to the Seattle Mariners. The Rays collected Logan Morrison, Brad Miller, and Danny Farquhar. Nathan Karns was a steady starter for the Rays and could have been one of the better pitchers on this team. The Rays sent him away for hopefully more power in the lineup which the Rays desperately need. This trade is certainly a reach at first glance since Morrison has some pop at first base but it seems Tampa Bay is where bats come to die. Karns was a solid two or three spot starter in the rotation and the Rays gave him up for not much in return. Brad Miller could be a player that has major impact with the departure of Asdrubal Cabrera but he will not provide the big numbers the Rays need offensively. This trade makes it seem as they will not pay James Loney the money he is due and the Rays will make a trade to send him out. Logan Forsythe had a break out season and could be made available for trade as well. It will be interesting to see what some teams offer. Blake Snell was added to the roster. He is the young strong lefty from Durham. Rays fan may see him in the starting rotation this season to replace Nathan Karns.
It looks like the Rays will be stuck with a combination of Curt Casali and Rene Rivera behind home plate this season. The Rays have never had a dominating catcher but hopefully the Rays look at other options outside the organization. J.P. Arencibia was sent down to Durham just the other day. Tampa Bay opens the season on Sunday, April 3rd, 2016 against the Blue Jays. The Rays and Jays were moved to ESPN as one of the four games to be played that day. This will be great recognition for the Rays who don’t get a lot of playing time on ESPN.