Rays Settle In At Winter Meetings, Continue Dialogue To Upgrade Roster

Veteran Leadership & Chemistry Factor Into Rays Plan

Day one of baseball’s annual winter meetings here at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas is holding to the pattern of teams settling in.  While their isn’t a lot of news breaking, there is plenty of talk and rumors.

For the Rays front office, discussions have been going on all day. “Time can fly when you’re having a lot of conversations.” Rays Vice President of Baseball Operations Chaim Bloom said. “ You sometimes sit and wonder how all the hours in the day are going to be filled up and they go by very quickly.”

The conversations were mostly about the things that were discussed before the Rays entourage arrived in Las Vegas, but there have been a couple of new things pop up. Bloom noted that there have been a  “couple of possibilities where you can feel a little bit more urgency on the part of the other teams.”

Bloom and company have discussed both free agent signings and trade with neither side necessarily tilted in one direction. According to Bloom, the trade conversations “can get more elaborate just because there’s a lot more variables a lot more possibilities, but it’s been a good mix of both.”

Last season the Rays had both Sergio Romo and Carlos Gomez as veteran leaders in the clubhouse.  Bloom was asked if the Rays will look to find that type of veteran leader on the free agent market?

The answer to that question was yes. Some of the possibilities the Rays have examined have  involved bringing in some guys with a lot more experience.

“We are really happy to have such a young group, it’s something that we try to have, that we’re excited about.  Every successful club we’ve had, we’ve had that right mix and we’ve had some guys with more time under them that have played a role.”

So it does factor into things, it’s obviously not the only factor but it is something that we care about in making sure we have the right mentorship for some of the younger players just to help break them in right is important.”

The Rays will do their homework before bringing anyone in.  They will examine what type of person they are, who they are in the clubhouse, and what kind of leadership potential the player has.

It’s tricky trying to judge chemistry, which is usually created as the year progresses, something Bloom is aware of. “You don’t really know exactly how the group will come together. I think chemistry is really important but I think it’s really hard to foresee it in advance to see exactly how a group will gel. But when someone’s having a good influence you kind of know it when you see it.”


I am a fan of all sports but am most passionate about baseball. From the fanatical to analytical, nothing about the game escapes me. Being born and raised in Northeast Ohio I'm very familiar with the heartache and pain that sports can bring and hope that I bring some understanding of the other side to my coverage. I will focus mostly on baseball but also cover the Tampa Bay Lightning, one of the most electric franchises in all of sports. Always willing to converse about any sport and have only one rule and that is be respectful at all times.