Clearing the Bases: Tampa Bay Rays

Question (from GoGators 503, Gainesville, Florida):

Realistically, though, are the Rays going to keep all that young talent? We’ve fallen in love with a team in Florida before and been burned twice (the Marlins), why should we believe any different this time around with the Rays?

Answer (from fellow writer, Trecker):

I wouldn’t say they can keep all of it.

But we know a few things. Longoria is signed long-term on a very cheap deal for his production. The rotation aside from Shields has 4-5 cost controlled years left a piece. Jennings has 6 full years. Zobrist has 4 more cost controlled years and only one that might be expensive (his final arb. year).

You may know better then I living there, but the Rays are continuing to attempt to attain the resources to build a new stadium. I think its been shown in a few cities that the new stadiums bring in considerable revenue if only for a few years, which by the time it was built would allow them to sign some if not most of these guys.

We also know, Crawford is realistically going to walk after 2010 and this is something the Rays can not do much about unless he is willing to take a discount for them. However, the Rays over the last two years gone from a 24 million dollar payroll to what will be about a 70-73 million dollar payroll in 2010. They have attempted to supplement their system with veterans (Percival, Soriano, Burrell). They may not be able to ever buy the big name players, however if they continue to scout, draft and develop players from with in and supplement their major league clubs with FA they can remain competitive.

I want to believe that the Rays will hold onto to as many of these players as is economically feasible and with continued success at the major league level, the Rays should hopefully continue to see upswings in revenue. In baseball winning seems to breed money, money helps the winning process and it builds upon itself. (Granted this cycle has a limit with someone like Tampa, unlike in NY or LA).

So, in short I would like to hope the Rays as an organization will maintain their current payroll and increase when they see fit. Of course what would have been best for them would be a restructuring of the divisions. Being the third best team in all of baseball is a great accomplishment, the problem is they play in a division with teams 1a and 1b. Not saying the Rays can’t or won’t be in the playoffs because they certainly have the talent, its just an uphill battle. But heres to lady luck shining upon them this season (well to beat the Sox, not the Yankees đŸ™‚ ).

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One Comment on “Clearing the Bases: Tampa Bay Rays”

  1. Owner Says:

    I like this too. Taking questions and then giving a legit answer. This is a nice touch.

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