Tampa Bay Rays
Rays Already Working Toward 2009
ST. PETERSBURG - Andrew Friedman is a workaholic to the nth degree, but even he could use a breather after the Rays' run to the World Series. He won't have that luxury, though, as the offseason already is in motion with the conclusion of the Fall Classic. Friedman will head to Dana Point, Calif., on Sunday for the annual general managers' meetings, which traditionally serve as a time to lay the groundwork for moves that come later in the offseason. Five weeks later, the Hot Stove League's most overheated few days, the winter meetings, begin in Las Vegas. "For the front office, this really is our season," Friedman said Thursday. "It's incredibly busy and we've done some prep work the last few days to get us ready. "I'm sure we'll continue to immerse ourselves this weekend so we can be prepared on Monday."At least another roster overhaul won't be necessary, with almost every key member of the 2008 American League champions in line to return next spring. But there's always work to do. "On one hand, we feel like we're in somewhat of a fortunate position because we won 97 games with a relatively young team that's going to have one more year of experience," Friedman said. "But that said, our job is to try to improve. If we can, great, but we feel like for the most part we're looking at it and all we have is upside."
Reporter Marc Lancaster can be reached at (813) 259-7227.