Rays close to signing Troy Percival to a multiyear deal

November 28, 2007 at 8:55 pm 31 comments

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The Rays are also close to signing Troy Percival to a multiyear deal. The Rays could really use his services in the pen. I’m usually not a fan of a team signing a 38 year old reliever to a two year deal but this deal could make sense. I still wouldn’t bet on it though.

The Rays are banking on a 38 year old reliever who only pitched in 40 innings last season, ZERO in 2006, and 25 in 2005. He can’t go on back-to-back days and he had his great year last season in the weak NL Central. But, re-uniting with Maddon may be good. It’s only a two year deal and I have to say that that is a better deal than what other GMs are shelling out right now to relievers.

This deal could go either way. It’s really a 50-50 chance but it’s something the Rays had to do. The Rays have made some moves that seriously improve the team. They got a starting SS, a starting pitcher, and a reliever all in the last day. The Rays also sent Brian Stokes to the Mets for cash considerations and they unvield their plans for a new open-air stadium. Busy day for the Rays.

Here is the source of the article below:

Troy Percival got to know Joe Maddon when he pitched for the Angels and Maddon was a coach for the same team. Assuming there are no unforeseen snags in negotiations, Percival and Maddon will be reunited in Tampa Bay next season. Sources say that Percival is close to completing a multiyear contract with the Rays.

Percival, 38, retired after pitching in 26 games for Detroit in 2006. But he came back to pitch for St. Louis last year and threw well, compiling a 1.80 ERA in 40 innings over 34 games. Percival has a long history as a closer, with 324 career saves, but he probably will fill a variety of roles for Tampa Bay, which has retained closer Al Reyes. The Rays also will probably value Percival for his old-school approach, something that could be a help with such a young team as Tampa Bay.

“It’s not done-done,” said Paul Cohen, who represents Percival. “We’re still working on some things.” Cohen said he got some directions from Percival at about noon on Wednesday.

Milwaukee, the Yankees and the Giants are among the teams which have expressed interest in Percival.

Buster Olney is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine and he broke this article.

-Jonathan C. Mitchell

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31 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Erik  |  November 29, 2007 at 9:11 am

    Signing Percival is about 10 years too late if you ask me. He isn’t the closer anymore he once was and well even if he does add bullpen depth to the Rays, I just don’t think it is as good a fit. I think Octavio Dotel would have been a better choice. But that is just me…

  • 2. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  November 29, 2007 at 9:20 am

    I agree, I think Dotel is the better chouce especially because they could land him on a one year deal. The Rays need bullpen help badly. This is a medium risk medium reward deal. He could be a serviceable reliever in the middle somewhere.

  • 3. Charlie Nehl  |  November 29, 2007 at 9:22 am

    It’s definately a risk by signing Percival, but if the price is right, it could turn out well. He is past his hay day, and I would include him in the same vain as Bob Wickman and Todd Jones. They are by no means overpowering anymore, but can still usually get outs. I think there is some more gas left in the tank for Percival, as he showed with the Cards a little bit last season. I wouldn’t bank on him closing at all. Reyes closed well for the most part, but his ERA was mroe to be desired.

    As Erik says, Dotel would be a perfect fit to close for the rays.

  • 4. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  November 29, 2007 at 10:02 am

    Percival also runs the risk of getting injured or retiring again. I don’t think he’ll close unless Reyes is tired and there is a 3 run lead, and that’s not closing in my opinion. The reason the Rays didn’t go after Dotel is his salary demand.

  • 5. Erik  |  November 29, 2007 at 11:14 am

    Only reason I said Dotel is cause he is an upgrade and he has the ability to close. Do I think Percival will work out… probably well enough to trade him midseason. I don’t think Percival will last the season on the Rays. Just my gut tells me he won’t be here the full length of this contract.

  • 6. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  November 29, 2007 at 11:19 am

    I’m with you on Percival. There is always that scare of injury or retirement again.

  • 7. Ashley  |  November 29, 2007 at 12:45 pm

    I’m actually excited about Percival coming to Tampa. Camp and Stokes were not getting it done and I always cringed when either of them walked out. I like the potential of the pen this year. Last year they blew so many games..sometimes giving up an 8 or 9 run lead! Percival might not be the greatest, but even if he’s less than his best it’s better than alot of what we had, plus he’s a veteran which will help. The young pitchers need someone that can teach them the ropes, help teach discipline and control. Percival has experience and most Rays pitcher’s don’t. I was hoping they might pursue Gagne since he’s a free agent now. He struggled in Boston but I still think he could be an asset.

  • 8. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  November 29, 2007 at 12:56 pm

    Ashley – Gald to have your comments always! You are dead right. Percival is an upgrade over just about everyone in the pen. Gagne would be awesome for the Rays but he might be a little too pricey.

  • 9. Ashley  |  November 29, 2007 at 1:10 pm

    So even for 2 years I’ll take it. His presence will be great and even with a 3.XX ERA it would still be better than the 7.XX and the 8.XX we had with some of the guys last year. I was terrified as soon as the starter came out of the game. This year I’ll feel a little more confident. I knew Gagne would be a stretch, I didn’t expect that the Rays would spend the money, but with the cash they are spending to renovate the stadium here in Port Charlotte for Spring Training, the new uniforms, the proposed new stadium in St. Pete, I thought maybe…just maybe. But he struggled a lot to so who knows? Maybe he would be more of a hindrance than a help.

  • 10. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  November 29, 2007 at 1:35 pm

    I think Gagne would only help. He is very good. He got a way form his change-up when he went to Boston and he struggled. Evenif Percival posts a 4.50 ERA it’ll be a good deal. I only worry about him playing those 2 years.

  • 11. Ashley  |  November 29, 2007 at 1:41 pm

    Plus we picked him up in Free Agency so no trade involved. If we had to give someone up to get Percival I would not be so open to this deal. I wouldn’t sacrifice a young player or a prospect for him, but to sign him through free agency. I’m good with it.

  • 12. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  November 29, 2007 at 1:45 pm

    I agree 100% Ashley. I think he’s happy to be re-united with Maddon too.

  • 13. Ashley  |  November 29, 2007 at 1:51 pm

    I’m glad someone is happy with Maddon. I am not. I don’t think he’s that great and I think he makes terrible decisions. I can’t recall specifics right now, but I remember a bunch of games last year, watching the games with friends and all of us being so upset with some of the terrible calls he made. Especially with bunting (he does when he shouldn’t and doesn’t when he should), leaving starters in to long, not pulling a reliever when he’s let up too many runs. He drives me crazy. I was hoping they would not pick up his contract again but they did. I’m hoping now that they only did it for some stability b/c the team is already undergoing so many changes. I really hope he is not long-term. The same goes for Hickey. I don’t like him either.

  • 14. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  November 29, 2007 at 2:01 pm

    I like Maddon. I think he is a long-term manager. He won’t get results right away but he knows what he’s doing. There were a lot of times I was scratching my head too but he made certain moves to gauge his team. He knew he wasn’t going to contend in 2007 so he made moves based on that. Maddon is great for this group of youngsters. The last thing they need is a Lou Pinella or Dusty Baker. I also like Hickey. He’s a good pitching coach.

  • 15. Ashley  |  November 29, 2007 at 2:06 pm

    Well, I’ll admit we don’t need a Pinella or a Baker but I don’t like either Maddon or Hickey either. I’ll give it more time but I’m skeptical. I hope you’re right.

  • 16. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  November 29, 2007 at 2:08 pm

    I hope so too! I do think picking up the extension on him was also a sign of stability like you stated. He’s not a manager you’d want on the Yankees but he could be in time. He’ll be fine, I hope.

  • 17. Erik  |  November 29, 2007 at 3:05 pm

    I think Maddon will be a Buck Showalter…what I mean by this is that he will help build the team into a winner… but he just won’t be the manager when it is time to get over that hump. I think Maddon is a better manager than most… but he just won’t make Tampa World Champions. I’m sorry to say. I think some other manager will luck into that role.

  • 18. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  November 29, 2007 at 3:14 pm

    ^Flashback to Jon Gruden taking over for Tony Dungy

  • 19. Erik  |  November 29, 2007 at 3:16 pm

    Gruden who?

  • 20. Erik  |  November 29, 2007 at 3:18 pm

    Only reason he won the super bowl was cause the team they faced in the super bowl was his old team that basically ran the same offense and defense… I think Gruden should have been fired 2 years ago…

  • 21. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  November 29, 2007 at 3:21 pm

    I agree. I’m saying Maddon is Dungy and whoever takes over and wins is Gruden. I think Maddon might see the fruits of his labor though.

  • 22. Joe  |  November 30, 2007 at 8:13 am

    It’s a two-year deal that will pay him at least $8 million, but incentives could push the total value of the contract past $10 million.

  • 23. Ashley  |  November 30, 2007 at 9:41 am

    I wish Gruden would go away. I don’t like him as a coach. He lucked in to the Bucs championship b/c Dungy had built a good team. Dungy’s problem is his play calling in the red zone. It’s questionable which is why he is so good with Peyton Manning b/c Manning will change the call if he doesn’t like what he sees on defense. The Bucs need a new coach bad. I’m willing to give Maddon a little time but they are building a great team in Tampa, so if he can’t get them out of the cellar he needs to go. There is no excuse why the Rays aren’t at least in 3rd this year. They can beat Toronto and Baltimore. The powerhouses in New York and Boston are hard to overcome but the Rays always play them tough.

  • 24. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  November 30, 2007 at 10:58 am

    I guess I hit a hot button issue with Gruden. I too think he should be gone.

    Ashley you are right. If Maddon can’t get them out of the cellar he should be out the door too. I think the Rays will challenge in the AL East and I guarantee they will finish ahead of Baltimore.

  • 25. Aaron Boynton  |  November 30, 2007 at 11:05 am


  • 26. Charlie Nehl  |  November 30, 2007 at 1:46 pm

    Looks like a done deal now!

  • 27. Ashley  |  November 30, 2007 at 1:51 pm

    What is a done deal? Where did Gagne go? Did I miss something?

  • 28. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  November 30, 2007 at 1:57 pm

    Percival is a done deal.

  • 29. Ashley  |  November 30, 2007 at 2:54 pm

    Oh. Yeah, I knew that. I thought he was referring to Gagne b/c of the post above him from Aaron. Looks like they might have overpaid for Percival b/c it can get up to about 12million but I’d rather see them overspend than not spend at all.

  • 30. Aaron Boynton  |  November 30, 2007 at 4:48 pm

    I think this Percival signing is a bust. Do the Rays think that it’s 2000 all over again?

  • 31. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  November 30, 2007 at 6:51 pm

    I don’t think he can face the best hitters in a lineup. He’ll be fine if he’s pitching like he did in St. Louis, only going on back-to-back days 3 times.


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