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Tag:Chris Ray
Posted on: January 12, 2012 4:01 pm
 

On birthday, Chris Ray signs with Indians

By Matt Snyder

The Cleveland Indians have announced that they've signed right-handed relief pitcher Chris Ray to a minor-league contract, which includes an invitation to spring training. Thursday just happens to be Chris Ray's 30th birthday, too.

FREE AGENT TRACKER

Ray had a 4.68 ERA and 1.38 WHIP with 22 strikeouts in 32 2/3 innings last season for the Mariners. He didn't pitch after August 1, as he was on the disabled list with a strained muscle in his shoulder. He was actually throwing the ball well at that point in time, too, as Ray got off to an atrocious start but had a 2.13 ERA and  1.11 WHIP in his last 21 outings.

Don't expect Ray to fit prominently into the Bullpen Mafia, but he could perhaps work his way into the mix as the seventh man.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
Posted on: September 23, 2011 3:31 pm
Edited on: September 23, 2011 4:58 pm
 

R.I.P.: 2011 Seattle Mariners

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Another season gone, another disappointment for 29 teams as one is immortalized forever. Let’s take a look back at 2011 and forward in Eye on Baseball’s R.I.P. series...

Team name: Seattle Mariners
Record: 66-90, 24 games back in AL West
Manager: Eric Wedge
Best hitter: Dustin Ackley -- .283/.359/.431, 6 HR, 35 RBI, 37 R, 14 2B, 6 SB
Best pitcher: Felix Hernandez -- 14-13, 3.32 ERA, 1.181 WHIP, 220 K, 230 1/3 IP

The Mariners aren't going to lose 100 games, so there's that. The team has done that in two of the last four seasons, so at least that's not going to happen in 2011. But for a team that was in contention through the first three months of the season, 2011 will be a disappointment, regardless of the final tally.

2011 SEASON RECAP

No matter what else happened in 2011, the Mariners' season will be most remembered for a 17-game losing streak in July, sandwiched around the All-Star break. The Mariners were at .500, 43-43 and just 2.5 games out of first place after beating the A's on July 5. After their next win they were 14.5 games out and held just a 44-60 record.

Even when the Mariners were a half-game behind the Rangers in June, nobody expected it to last. It was more of a nice surprise than any kind of real run toward the playoffs.

However, there were two huge positives -- the performances of rookies Ackley and Michael Pineda. Pineda opened the season in the team's rotation and immediately appeared to be the prince to King Felix. Pineda, 22, is 9-10 with a 3.74 ERA, but started the season 8-5 with a 2.58 ERA in his first 17 starts. He had some struggles, but the talent is obvious and even had some people even mentioning the possibility of a trade of Hernandez. That's not going to happen, instead the team will have a fearsome front of the rotation for years to come.

Ackley came up later in the season, but has done nothing but hit since singling off of Roy Oswalt in his first big-league at-bat.

While the kids impressed, the veterans were another story. Even the incomparable Ichiro Suzuki struggled in 2011, as it appears he'll fall short of 200 hits for the first time in his MLB career. Suzuki had a career .331 batting average coming into the season in which he's hit just .274/.312/.340. Chone Figgins continues to be a disaster, hitting .188/.241/.243, and is under contract through 2013. While Figgins is still around, Milton Bradley isn't, as the team designated him for assignment in May after he removed himself from a game and left the stadium. Franklin Guitierrez has never recovered from a stomach ailment, hitting just .224/.261/.273.

2012 AUDIT

The Mariners have the start of a good rotation, with Hernandez, Pineda and 22-year-old right-hander Blake Beavan. Charlie Furbush, 25, could surprise.

It appears the 2012 lineup is set -- or at least it is contractually. That's the good news. The bad news is that it's pretty much the same as it was this year when the team had the worst offense in the American League by just about any measurable statistic.

At this point, it seems like the best chance the Mariners have is hoping their pitching is good enough to carry them for most of the year and the likes of Justin Smoak, Trayvon Robinson, Casper Wells and Mike Carp. Yeah, that's not a lot to hang your hat on, but that's about where we are.

FREE AGENTS

RHP Chris Ray
2B Adam Kennedy
RHP Jamey Wright

OFFSEASON FOCUS

The team needs more offense, that's for sure. But where does it come from? The team has Bradley, Yuniesky Betancourt and Carlos Silva coming off the books -- but that's enough to make any GM balk at bringing in another big free-agent contract. And that doesn't even mention the $18 million still owed to Figgins. Ichiro will be in his last year under contract at $18 million and nobody's going to take him off their hands.

But the team still needs offensive help, so here's some suggestions that could help out the Mariners:

  • Sign Prince Fielder. It'd help, and when Fielder hits the ball, not even Safeco Field can hold his bombs. But with the ghosts of Figgins and the warning sign of Adam Dunn still out there, It may be tough for Jack Zduriencik to convince ownership to open their pocketbook to sign the 27-year-old Fielder. Unlike Dunn, though, Fielder is still under 30 and has several big years ahead of him. It will be tough to get Fielder to come to Safeco, but maybe he's heard Seattle has some amazing vegetarian restaurants. There aren't many quick fixes for an offense, but it's a heck of a start.
  • Try to deal Gutierrez. Yeah, it's selling low, and that's never a good thing -- and the Mariners would have to eat some salary, but he's still a defensive presence and can have a decent shot at bring back at least some bullpen help.
  • And why bullpen help? Because closer Brandon League could bring back a bat. To get something in return, you've got to give something up. And the All-Star closer is in his last year of arbitration, so it's better to get rid of him now and get something in return rather than run the risk of losing him in free agency (and wait for draft picks to develop). And at this point, a closer is a luxury, not a necessity. You have to score runs and get a lead before you can close one out.

If the Mariners get close to .500 and the rest of the division struggles (it could happen), things could get much better -- or at least more interesting in Seattle in 2012. But it's not until 2013 when Ichiro and others come off the books that the next generation of Mariners can take over.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: February 13, 2011 8:08 pm
Edited on: February 14, 2011 3:13 pm
 

Veterans likely to fill in for Aardsma as closer

As noted earlier, Mariners closer David Aardsma is out until at least late April and probably later, creating an opportunity for someone else to close for the Mariners in the first month or so of the season.

Mariners pitching coach Carl Willis told Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times that he hasn't decided who that person will be, but it's unlikely it will be one of the team's younger pitchers, such as Dan Cortes or Josh Lueke.

Brandon League "You can't rule out a younger guy that we have with the staff," Willis said. "But I don't think it's fair to be pushing an inexperienced guy into that role right away."

The most likely candidates are Brandon League (pictured), Manny Delcarmen and Chris Ray, Willis told Baker.

League filled in for Aardsma at the end of last season, picking up six saves during the season and is likely the favorite.

Ray served as the Orioles' closer in 2006 and 2007, has 51 career saves, but underwent Tommy John surgery in 2007 and hasn't regained his form.

Last season, he played for the Rangers and Giants, going to San Francisco in the trade that sent Bengie Molina to the Rangers. He was not on the postseason roster.

Delcarmen has three career saves, one in 2007 and two in 2008.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb  on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: December 13, 2010 12:57 pm
 

Ray could be headed back to Baltimore

Chris Ray There seems to be at least some level of mutual interest between the Orioles and their former closer, Chris Ray, the Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec writes.

Ray, non-tendered by the Giants, had 33 saves for the Orioles in 2006, with 16 more in 2007 before missing all of 2008 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He was terrible in 2009 and traded to the Rangers for Kevin Millwood last offseason.

After appearing in 35 games for the Rangers (with a 2-0 record and 3.41 ERA), he was sent to San Francisco (where he was 3-0 with a 4.13 ERA in 28 appearances) in the Benjie Molina trade.

Ray shares an agent, Mark Pieper, with Koji Uehara, who is taking his physical today in order to re-sign with the Orioles.

In an e-mail with Zrebiec, Ray said, "Baltimore will always be a special place for me and of course I would be interested in returning to the Orioles. I see they have made some nice additions to their lineup already this winter."

Ray's agent said he's heard from several teams, but doesn't expect anything soon.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb  on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.


Posted on: December 3, 2010 12:28 am
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:37 am
 

Russell Martin among those non-tendered

The deadline to tender contracts was Thursday night at 11:59 p.m., and here's the players who were not tendered contracts and are now free agents:

A's: Edwin Encarnacion, Jack Cust, Travis Buck

Angels: Kevin Frandsen

Astros: Sammy Gervacio

Blue Jays: Jeremy Accardo, Fred Lewis

Braves: Matt Diaz

Brewers: Todd Coffey, Joe Inglett

Diamondbacks: Blaine Boyer, Ryan Church, Augie Ojeda, D.J. Carrasco

Dodgers: Russell Martin, George Sherrill, Trent Oeltjen

Giants: Eugenio Velez, Chris Ray

Mariners: Ryan Rowland-Smith

Marlins: Jose Veras, Ronny Paulino

Mets: Chris Carter, Sean Green, John Maine

Nationals: Wil Nieves, Joel Peralta, Chein-Ming Wang

Orioles: Matt Albers

Padres: Scott Hairston, Tony Gwynn Jr., Luis Perdomo, Matt Antonelli

Pirates: Lastings Milledge, Argenis Diaz, Donnie Veal, Brian Burres

Rangers: Dustin Nippert

Rays: Lance Cormier, Willy Aybar, Dioner Navarro, J.P. Howell

Red Sox: Hideki Okajima, Taylor Buchholz, Andrew Miller

Rockies: Manny Delcarmen

Royals: Josh Fields

Tigers: Zach Miner

White Sox: Bobby Jenks, Erick Threets

Yankees: Alfredo Aceves, Dustin Mosley

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: June 30, 2010 10:58 pm
Edited on: June 30, 2010 11:29 pm
 

Rangers acquire Molina from Giants

Bengie Molina The San Francisco Giants have traded catcher Bengie Molina to the Texas Rangers for reliever Chris Ray and a player to be named later, USA Today reports .

The deal is pending approval from commissioner Bud Selig and should be official shortly.

The deal makes sense from both sides. The Rangers are hurting at catcher and have had to go with Matt Treanor and Max Ramirez as the backstops after Jarrod Saltalamacchia had his season derailed by injury and the yips while Taylor Teagarden has been a mark of offensive futility so far.

Treanor is a 34-year-old backup catcher while Max Ramirez is an unproven rookie with questions about defense.

Molina, at .257/.312/.332 through 221 plate appearances, isn't exactly lighting the world on fire but does have a history of being able to hit the longball and should find the going easier after moving to Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Defensively, Molina is also a strong defender, which is no surprise given the Molina pedigree in the bigs.

Saltalamacchia does deserve to head back to the majors and figures to do that at some point, but its clear the team isn't ready to rely on him just yet. As for Ramirez, his defense has been considered a liability for quite a while. Back in the offseason, the Rangers were reportedly poised to send Ramirez to Boston for Mike Lowell and the sense was that Boston would shift him out from behind the dish.

For San Francisco's part, the trade frees up the catcher's spot for Buster Posey to move there full-time. It will allow the Giants to upgrade their offense by either moving Aubrey Huff back to first base and giving Nate Schierholtz and Aaron Rowand more playing time, as Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News notes . Another alignment would be moving Pablo Sandoval to first and moving Juan Uribe to third base. That would free up regular playing time for Edgar Renteria.

Chris Ray was dealt for Kevin Millwood in the offseason and has pieced together a 3.41 ERA over 31 2/3 innings. He would likely pitch out of the Giants' bullpen, although he may have an option left, according to Baggarly. That would allow San Francisco to ship him to Triple-A in the event of a roster crunch.

Molina is on a one year, $4.5 million deal with about $2.3 million left to be paid. If the Rangers are assuming much of Molina's contract, Selig may be examining the move closely thanks to Texas' financial straits. The sale from owner Tom Hicks is constantly being held up and MLB is responsible for the team's finances until the sale goes through.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
 
 
 
 
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