The Rays are part of a three-team deal, with Arizona and Cincinnati, that gives manager Joe Maddon a firm starting catcher this season. The moves come one day after the Rays seal up backup catcher Jose Molina to a two-year deal.
The catcher position has been the most critical need for the Rays and they have shuffled a lot of bodies through that position, but have yet to hit. Now, they're hoping Ryan Hanigan is the one who can lock up the position.
Hanigan didn't have a big year but the Rays are hoping that was just a wrinkle, because he can deliver at the plate.
Behind the plate, there is no doubt he brings in the right set of tools to work with a staff as talented as the Rays. He is a very strong defensive catcher, great at calling pitches, and his arm is strong enough and his release quick enough that he keeps teams from racking up a lot of stolen bases.
I think the move means that Jose Lobaton, who had so many clutch game-winning hits for the Rays this past season, is now expendable. The ice cream-eating Lobaton is a fan favorite, but the Rays are now heavy at catcher -- so Lobaton could be traded.
To make the deal work, the Rays sent reliever Justin Choate to Arizona and a player to be named later -- and the Rays also get pitcher Heath Bell in the deal. Bell has the potential to be a closer; he had the job last year for Arizona but couldn't hold on to it. So here is the total package:
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
Didn't find what you were looking for?