A lot of fantasy baseball energy is exerted trying to determine what the Tampa Bay Devil Rays are going to do with all their fantasy studs and potential fantasy studs. Everyone imagines 30 HR hitters with 20+ SBs or 50 SBs with 20 HRs for all their prospects. As a result, no one can deal any of them except for prices that exceeed their actual production and playing time. And neither can the Devil Rays management!
If Carl Crawford and Rocco Baldelli are untradable, then there exists RF and DH for the remaining outfield candidates to share. By my count that includes Delmon Young, Elijah Dukes and Jonny Gomes. Delmon Young settling for a part-time OF job? I don't think so, but then again he shouldn't have to.
At 3B, the Devil Rays have perrennial prospect BJ Upton mangling balls like a beer-league softball player. Can he remain at third following the signing of Japanese Gold Glove thirdbaseman Akinori Iwamura and with 2006 first round pick, Evan Longoira in AA already? Can he not with no place to move in the OF?
The middle infield is currently manned by rookie Ben Zobrist, keeping it warm for AA SS Reid Brignac, and Jorge Cantu. Iwamura can move to 2B. That will then leave Cantu with nowhere to go but 1B - assuming 2006 was an aberration.
1b appears to be an option to help put-off the inevitable - trading some of these cherished prospects. Right now, 1B is manned by the surprisingly productive duo of Ty Wigginton and Greg Norton - 41 HRs combined in 2006!
If I can see the spot the DRays are in, so can the rest of the major league general managers. It is not a postion of strength for the Devil Rays. And if the triumvirate of Upton, Young and Dukes revises the Durham bitching fest they visited on USA Today's Bob Nightengale this past summer, the DRays will find themselves in an even worse spot.
The Rays should move now and make a trade that is way outside the box - Delmon Young to the Dodgers for Chad Billingsley, Clay Kershaw and Takashi Saito!