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SBD/August 1, 2014/Franchises
MLB Trade Deadline: Tigers Up The Ante By Landing Price, But Did Rays Get Enough?
Published August 1, 2014
WAS THE PRICE RIGHT? Rays Exec VP/Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman on Thursday said that it "would have been easier not to deal Price." Friedman: "This certainly wasn't a pre-wired decision, but we felt like if something lined up that made sense for this organization, we had to do it. We felt like we had a responsibility to our fans, to this community to do what we can, to be as good as we can for as long as we can." He added, "It's really important for us to have one eye on the present and one eye on the future, because if not, you fall off the cliff. Falling off the cliff means five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10 years of rebuilding. For us to be able to sustain success over the long term, these are decisions we have to make." Rays manager Joe Maddon: "On the surface, I'm sure the fans are going to be upset -- go ahead and be upset -- I don't blame them. That's what fans are supposed to do. But within the Tampa Bay Rays, we have to do what we think is best for our group and continue to move forward. I have total trust and respect for our players and ownership" (MLB.com, 7/31). However, in Florida, John Torres writes this is the "kind of move that can derail a club for a decade," and the Rays are "not a franchise that can withstand a decade of empty stadiums and irrelevancy." Torres: "Nothing personal against Nick Franklin and Drew Smyly, but that is a paltry return for a legitimate ace pitcher" (FLORIDA TODAY, 8/1). SPORTS ON EARTH's Jonathan Bernhardt wrote, "What in the world were Andrew Friedman and the Tampa Bay Rays thinking?" This is "essentially just a punt for the Rays," and it is "very difficult to see the logic behind any argument otherwise" (SPORTSONEARTH.com, 7/31). USA TODAY's Bob Nightengale writes MLB execs were "absolutely stunned the Rays didn't receive more for Price." Nightengale: "You wonder why nobody bothers to come to Rays games? Who wants to support a team only to eventually see their favorite players dealt away?" (USA TODAY, 8/1).
THAT'S A FACT, JACK: In Seattle, Larry Stone writes despite the "likelihood his job is dependent on the Mariners' future," Exec VP & GM of Baseball Operations Jack Zduriencik did not make a "reckless trade to increase his short-term chances." Zduriencik "warrants criticism for the gaping holes that still exist in the lineup, but if he does go down, it appears, he’s going to go down with his guys and his plan" (SEATTLE TIMES, 8/1).