November 2009

The Rays Catching

Gregg Zaun filed for free agency Wednesday, which was to be expected considering the Rays did not exercise his $2 million option for 2010 on Monday.

However, the Rays say they still have interest in Zaun, they just want to remain flexible — or liquid — early in the offseason.

Catching was not a strong area for the Rays in 2009. Navarro took a step backwards and Zaun came aboard and actually seemed to be the missing piece.

Reading between the lines on this one, I can see the Rays looking around for catching help during the offseason and if they don’t find a major upgrade at the position I believe they will try and re-sign Zaun.

Addressing the catching, at least in my opinion, seems as if it will be the Rays’ top priority. Unfortunately for the Rays, there aren’t a lot of available upgrades out there.

— Bill Chastain

Longoria Deserves Gold Glove

Nice to see Evan Longoria get recognized for his defensive work at third base with a Gold Glove.

Not only does Longoria have sure hands, he might be the best I’ve seen at charging bunts and throwing runners out at first. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve expressed that sentiment to the person sitting next to me in the press box after watching him make such a play.

I think this will be the first of many Gold Glove Awards for the Rays talented third baseman, who continues to make the game look so easy.

–Bill Chastain