Silverman: Activity should heat up after Friday
Rays president of baseball operations waiting for qualifying-offer deadline to pass
BOCA RATON, Fla. -- There has been more business than usual at the General Managers Meetings, which has consumed much of Rays president of baseball operations Matt Silverman's time the past few days.
But as the week progresses, and once Friday's 5 p.m. ET deadline for free agents to either accept or reject their qualifying offer passes, Silverman anticipates trade and free-agent inquires to heat up.
"I feel like there have been more meetings this year, official league business," Silverman said. "It's really cut into the unstructured time that we had last year. Part of that was the [Arizona] Fall League, and we had time to go to the Fall League. This year, there has been a full slate of meetings."
The 2014 GM Meetings were held in Phoenix, and most teams sent executives to Arizona early, where they were able to watch AFL games as a lead-in to the Meetings.
With so much official business crammed into the first two days in Boca Raton, teams haven't dug deeply into measuring which trade pieces may be on the market. That's about to change.
On Thursday, Tampa Bay swung a six-player deal with Seattle. The Rays received first baseman/outfielder Logan Morrison, shortstop Brad Miller and right-handed reliever Danny Farquhar for right-hander Nathan Karns, lefty C.J. Riefenhauser and Minor League outfielder Boog Powell.
That trade reduced the urgency to make other moves. Currently, the club is discussing potential trade and free-agent scenarios internally.
"At this moment, we're talking about big things, which we always do," Silverman said. "And very few of them actually come to fruition. But there also are some of the smaller things that matter on the margin, especially as we try to set the roster."
Tampa Bay isn't expected to engage heavily in the free-agent market, especially for high-priced talent. But like all clubs, the Rays are waiting to see what transpires after Friday's qualifying-offer deadline passes, which is expected to launch the signing of free agents. Once players start coming off the board, new potential scenarios will surface.
"Right now, the qualifying offers -- and the uncertainty about what will happen -- is an overhang, and it might be impeding some of the activity that we'll see," Silverman said. "Once we get past Friday, things may loosen up. After every deadline, or every one of these key dates, there seems like there is an opportunity for a greater volume of things to happen.
"It's hard for us to impact the club on an immediate level in a big way through free agency and internationally. Free agency, we simply can't afford those players. And internationally, or in the Draft, it takes years for those results to bear fruits. If we're looking for more immediate results, we can focus on the trade markets."