I beg to differ. Is there had been some question of "why not pursue Suzuki" by a media type, it would have been published in the newspapers or in their blogs.
Honestly, I just think this pursuing Suzuki is something you think is a good idea. Buster Olney suggests he could be playing elsewhere by the trade deadline, but that's about it.
But seriously, if you think it's a good idea why not ask team management and see what their response is?
Also, I totally get your point. You can leave out.... LEAVE OUT... the caps.
I agree that Molina is a notable improvement over Shoppach ... but he's really not a full-season, starting catcher (I think the most games he's ever caught in a season is 78 ... in his younger years!) ... and neither Lobaton nor (especially) Chrinos are truly defensively-proven ... plus Lobaton seems prone to injury ... and Chirinos just started catching a couple of years ago. (Plus ... both were truly anemic in the batter's box in their few appearances last season ... although Lobaton had a pretty good season at the plate at Durham during 2011!)
The three seem to represent the 2nd-, 3rd-, and 4th-string catchers ... ... ... so ... ... ... my only point is that if it was known that a PROVEN FIRST-STRING catcher was available somewhere ... and already under an affordable existing multi-year contract ... one might expect the Rays would engage in initiating discussions revolving around potentially trading for that catcher. (???) (Suzuki was originally suggested here by "artraysfan".)
But ... instead ... they sign another catcher ... Chris Gimenez ... a 29-year-old ... 34th round draft pick (1024th) by the Rockies in 2001 (did not sign in order to attend UNevada) and a 19th round draft pick by the Indians (557th) in 2004 ... potentially becoming the Rays' 5th-string catcher ... who debuted with Cleveland in 2009 ... with a lifetime batting average of .171 and a career 5 HRs and 21 RBIs ... not tendered by his latest team, the Mariners and, therefore, becoming a free agent.
I don't get it ... but, of course, I could be on a drastically different wavelength from the powers that be.
I do agree, though, that they BEST way to get a top-tier catcher is through the draft ... then bringing him along via the team's player development system.
Well ... given the team .244 batting average in 2011 ... the paltry 707 runs scored ... and being among the AL leaders in total team strikeouts ... I'm concerned about the offensive production ... primarily in terms of improving batting averages and reducing strikeouts ... at almost EVERY position!
Zobrist, Joyce and Longoria will most likely provide all-around decent offensive stats ... and maybe Keppinger, too, even if he's not a starter ... but the rest? In my opinion ... A Big Bunch Of "IFS" ... at least at this point!
I wholeheartedly agree with you that young hitters should improve over time ... getting better and improving their BAs with increasing experience and ABs.
BUT ... that really hasn't been happening much with the Rays young guys over the last couple of seasons!
Which is, of course, why I have pretty consistently (over the past two seasons) questioned the effectiveness of the current hitting coach ... and ... maybe ... the team hitting philosophy as established by the manager.
Just in the AL, the Rays have generally trended towards the bottom of the pack among the 14 teams in most offensive categories ... winning, instead, with very good starting pitching ... near-genuis use of a so-so bullpen ... exceptionally good defense ... quite a few good breaks ... and ... last season in particular ... Johnny Damon driving in the tying run in ten games and the winning run in eight more!
Pre-last season, I expected the Rays to win 85 to 87 games; the Yanks and Red Sox unexpectedly gave them a few more ... and they won an unexpected 91 and a wild-card slot in the playoffs. This pre-season ... pre-spring training ... I'm not as optimistic.
Right now ... even if all the guys remaining from last season match their 2011 performances ... there are just too many "IFS" among the several newcomers ... not a single one of which had a good ML season last year, whether they be a position player or a pitcher.
Statistically ... offensively ... it's generally a motley crew ... except for Zobrist, Joyce, Longoria and Keppinger ... and the new bullpen guys show up as distinctly fair-to-middlin' ... if even that good! So ... at this point ... I'm not yet very confident of a whole lot of wins above 81.
How can you say that when we won 91 last year and this year will have Desmond Jennings for a whole year, Evan Longoria healthy the whole year, BJ Upton hopefully using his lower half for a whole year, and Luke Scott and Carlos Pena adding 45 home runs to the lineup?
Matt Moore too
ALL ... "hopefully"; ALL ... "IF".
Offensive newcomers, excepting Keppinger, unproven ... and coming off of poor seasons.
Bullpen newcomers ... same deal.
"Hopefully" ... and "IF" ...
Maybe an on-again-off-again "six starters" ... and ... MAYBE ... trying Davis (more likely) or Neimann (less likely) in the bull pen. So ... ?
Beyond that ... don't expect starters to be regularly serving as relievers.
Rick don't even try and reason with tkrng.....He does not like Maddon, does not like most of the players, does not like the talk of moving to Tampa, does not like the RFO (carpetbaggers!) and I am convinced he does not like baseball.....But he is one of those St. Pete archaic thinking people with his nose up Foster's you know what who has actualluy said he couldn't care less if the Rays stay or go because St. pete or the the citizens don't need them........He ll he's even squawked about e
So don't even try to reason with him he will never "get it".......He ll he has even squawked about the Grand Prix messing up "his" streets in St. Pete and wishes that would go away too!
Bottom line....The 21012 editionb of the Rays is a better team than the 2011 one that won 91 games and went to the post season.....This year's Rays have a really good shot at 95 or more and going all the way!!!.....
81 wins....maybe? Get real!!!
Art, what are you thinkin for Rays wins this year? I'm thinkin about 85 with Keppinger, Scott and Pena added on and Kotch. plus Damon deleted.