BY: John Mamola / 620wdae.com
The Tampa Bay Rays’ “hot stove” has been on the burn during the past week as the team has been very active in both re-signing players to the roster as well as in the trade market. The Rays completed a three team trade on Tuesday in which the team acquired catcher Ryan Hanigan from the Reds and reliever Heath Bell from the Diamondbacks. The Rays and Hanigan agreed to a three-year contract extension following the trade covering the 2014, '15 and '16 seasons, with a club option for '17, worth a guaranteed $10.75 million.
Tampa Bay Rays President Matt Silverman discussed the moves on WDAE’s ‘The Ron and Ian Show’ on Wednesday morning saying the Rays are happy to have a couple of guys in house that they’ve been keen on in recent years.
“Ryan is someone we’ve had our eyes on for a couple of years and we’ve finally found a way to bring him here to be a Ray” said Silverman. “We think he’s a great overall catcher.”
Silverman saying the Rays hope Hanigan can be a good offensive player and a great defensive catcher. As for Bell, Silverman made no guarantees as to what Bell’s role would be as of yet.
“We feel very comfortable with Heath Bell as one of seven guys in a bullpen and one of those guys that can pitch high-leverage innings, that’s really what it comes down to” said the Rays’ President. “We don’t need to have a defined closer although we’ve had one the past couple of years. But it’s really about Joe (Maddon) feeling comfortable sending out a guy out in the 7th, 8th, 9th inning in those high-leverage situations and expecting him to get those outs.”
Silverman said the Rays’ feel Bell’s track record and history makes him a viable option for the closer role, as he has performed well at in the past.