Lisa Winston takes a look at all the Rays Arizona Fall League players, focusing on Rhyne Hughes: It's hard to imagine what more the 25-year-old could have done in Arizona to win a coveted spot on the Rays' 40-man roster next spring. However, given the glut of young talent on the Rays and the lack of free agents opening spots, only three players -- all pitchers -- ended up being added to the 40-man squad and Hughes was not among them. So perhaps the fact that Hughes flirted with .400 against some of the best young arms in the Minors will result in his name being called in the Rule 5 Draft on Dec. 11. If not, it has certainly improved his own standing in his organization.
Mike Wlodarczyk writes his final AFL blog entry (the part about Chris Mason starting fires is funny on several levels): I personally feel like I've gotten a lot out of this short season while continuing my development as a reliever. Even though I struggled over my final three appearances, I feel that the strides I made early in the season considerably outweigh my recent struggles. Numbers don't always tell the whole story; and there is always room for improvement as I've learned from past mistakes.
Tyler Hissey had a nice interview with Jonah Keri, mostly about the Rays future: JK: Again, I think it will come down to value. If teams are willing to shell out more for Sonnanstine, he could be dealt. If Jackson can fetch more, he might go. I think Jackson would work well in a bullpen role too, so that could be another option. I'd like to see the Rays see if they could get a true impact bat for Scott Kazmir. But it's rare that we see that kind of blockbuster deal. Then again, the Delmon Young deal was a shocker when it happened.
The Rays, via The Heater, announced their (somewhat pricey, and what's a berm?) Spring Training schedule: The Rays also announced pricing options for the 16 home games at the newly renovated Charlotte Sports Park. Individual ticket prices will range from $9 to $23. Here's the breakdown for single-game tickets: field box, $23; baseline box, $18; field reserve, $18; baseline reserve, $16; berm, $9. Tickets go on sale Jan. 8.
And finally, Selgy at RaysBB provides an extremely detailed look at a possible Tampa location for the Rays (scroll down a little): Not sure if this belongs here or not, but while looking over a few pieces of land throughout the bay area I have determined Tampa will be the best place to build a new stadium and I will include reasons to support my reasoning. For those of you who say that they would stop going to games if the Rays were to move out of St. Pete, this bulletin isn't intended on challenging you on that issue, just why I feel they will eventually end up in Tampa.