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Sam Fuld is drawing “lots of interest” in free agency

Dec 5, 2013, 11:15 PM EDT

Sam Fuld AP AP

The Legend of Sam Fuld, it appears, will live on.

Fuld was non-tendered by the Rays earlier this week, but Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times hears that the 32-year-old outfielder has received “lots of interest” since hitting free agency. He’s only been on the market for a couple of days and is still sorting through the opportunities, so nothing is considered imminent.

Fuld hit just .199 with two homers and a .537 OPS in 119 games with the Rays this season and owns an underwhelming .234/.314/.330 batting line in the majors, but he can play all three outfield positions and offers some patience and speed. He’d likely be a better fit off the bench on a National League team.

  1. tfbuckfutter - Dec 5, 2013 at 11:39 PM

    It’s funny what a brief, early run with a team that has a fairly rabid fanbase (attendance notwithstanding, the dedicated Rays fans I know are actually surprisingly loyal and attentive although not perhaps not that analytical….no offense to the fans who post here because as far as I’ve seen you guys are mostly aces) can do for an awful player’s legend.

    Hell, as a Sox fan I am still waiting for Juan Pena to fulfill his potential. And I know Creighton Gubanich is old, but come on…his first hit was a grand slam. A GRAND SLAM! Give him another shot!

    • hittfamily - Dec 6, 2013 at 12:35 AM

      To understand the love of Sam, you have to understand the context of Sam. Fan favorite Matt Garza was traded away for a bunch of minor leaguers, plus some tiny kid with diabetes named Sam Fuld. We lose Carl Crawford to the hated Sawx, and Sam Fuld proceeds to win April player of the month, while making unbelieveable catches 4 times a week. Longo was on the DL, the Rays started 0-6, and then Sam got to play, and he carried us. At 1 point, sam had the highest average and most steals in baseball, while Crawford was sucking for Sawx. He held down left in 2011 til Desmond made his debut, and Desmond was outstanding in 2011. 2011 finished in the most amazing way possible, and Sam was responsible for quite a few of those early wins. Legacy.

      Everybody loves an underdog, and especially the Rays. a 5′ 7” Jewish kid with Diabetes? Yep, I like him. Then he does stuff like this, when the team is 0-5 and he gets his first start, and you fall in love. http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20110409&content_id=17570272&vkey=news_cws&c_id=cws

      • hittfamily - Dec 6, 2013 at 12:43 AM

        Or at least that’s how I remember it :)

      • tnblue79 - Dec 6, 2013 at 12:44 AM

        Very well said.

      • tfbuckfutter - Dec 6, 2013 at 12:49 AM

        I think you just exemplified my point wonderfully.

        Outsiders look at a guy who is a terrible baseball player statswise. But YOU have context. I’m not kidding when I say I have 2 or 3 friends who were absolutely gushing over Sam at that time. Recounting the last few innings of the games to my wildly uninterested ear (although I do count the Rays as my second favorite team I don’t follow them intently, I just hope for their success when my primary team is bad, and I don’t root against them unless they are facing my team).

        And when it is a small market team, that is an endearing trait. When it’s a big market team gushing about their random stupid stopgap shortstop, when they have 5 All Stars around that player who are ACTUALLY carrying the team, it just comes off as arrogant and annoying.

      • hittfamily - Dec 6, 2013 at 1:26 AM

        You are absolutely right. He was in the right place at the right time, but he made the most of it. We had a mass exodus of free agents that year. Heck, the Rays got 11 of the first 60 draft picks because of all the players who left. Carl Crawford, Carlos Pena, Matt Garza, Raphael Soriano, Grant Balfour, Joaquin Benoit, Dioneer Navarro…heck, we lost an all-star team. This team and this season was lost. But at least we signed Manny! Then Manny abruptly retires in the first week of the season. Longo got hurt in spring training, and the team is 0-6. Literally, things could not be worse, unless Friedman and Maddon get traded for Arod.

        Then this trade throw in, career minor leaguer who isn’t tall enough to ride the Kumba at Busch Gardens starts running through walls, popping up smiling while wiping blood from his arms and legs, and things seemed to be a little better. Then he starts hitting. He steals 3 bags in his 5th game. In his 9th game, he would have hit for the cycle in Boston, but in his final at bat, needing only a single, he legs a single into a double. By the end of the month, he leads baseball in steals, and is top 10 in average, triples, and runs.

        Things were bleak, and then suddenly they weren’t. “The Legend of Sam Fuld” may not be entirely accurate, but most legends aren’t. To Rays fans though, Sam wore a cape, and Superman wore Sam Fuld underwear, and nobody can tell me otherwise.

    • florida76 - Dec 6, 2013 at 10:30 AM

      Winning teams with rabid fanbases don’t finish last in MLB attendance the last two years.

  2. tnblue79 - Dec 6, 2013 at 12:28 AM

    As a Rays fan, Sam represented what the Rays were all about! He was tough, scrappy and defied the odds over and over for some spectacular plays. Longo is the face of the team but Fuld was the heart. Between his acrobatics on the field and his many charitable works off the field, he became a fan favorite. Sam did all that the Rays asked. He came of the bench and fielded, pinch hit, pinch ran and even pitched this year. He is a true class guy that gives his all every game. Unfortunately for him, the Rays have a squad of young up and comers waiting in the wings and Sam’s numbers weren’t there this year to keep his slot on the roster. He will always be in our hearts as “Super Sam”. Good Luck, Sam! Whatever team picks him up will get a lot of the things the numbers don’t reflect.

    • hittfamily - Dec 6, 2013 at 12:38 AM

      He’ll be back. Not in uniform ever again, but I promise you that Friedman has already started decorating an office for him in upper management. Sam’s a Stanford grad who interned for a SABR company. He won’t even have to interview when his playing days are over.

      • tnblue79 - Dec 6, 2013 at 12:42 AM

        I would say that you are absolutely correct!

  3. nymets4ever - Dec 6, 2013 at 8:52 AM

    Woah…the Sam Fuld lovefest in this comment thread makes it sound like this guy is ticketed to Cooperstown or something.

    • derklempner - Dec 7, 2013 at 4:05 PM

      Nah, he’s just beloved for his hustle and defensive play. Kinda like the same way people feel about Reed Johnson.

  4. raynman49 - Dec 6, 2013 at 10:54 AM

    Could he be the Blockbuster signing Mets fans were told about? Sounds like their type of slugger.

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