Year in and year out, the Tampa Bay Rays seem to always be in the thick of a playoff chase despite having one of the lowest payrolls in the MLB. The reason for this may be the combination of a great front office, manager, and a nucleus of outstanding young talent.
The Rays play in the American League East division, which many may say is the toughest division in all of baseball. With the likes of the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, and even the up and coming Baltimore Orioles, the Rays will have their share of challenges. Last year, the Rays fell short of their ultimate goal, losing to the eventual World Champion Red Sox in the postseason.
The Rays hope to content once more in 2014 with players like Evan Longoria and David Price returning. Despite the trade rumors regarding their ace David Price, they still have one of the top pitching rotations in the league. Matt Moore, Alex Cobb, and Chris Archer would all be in position to step up if Price does in fact get traded.
Evan Longoria, Wil Myers, and Ben Zobrist all seem like players who will be sticking around for awhile. When he is healthy, Longoria can carry a team for stretches which is very important. Wil Myers took the league by storm by winning the Rookie of the Year and playing like a veteran. As for Ben Zobrist, he can play virtually any position which comes in handy. He’s a true professional which every team needs.
With these players, the additions of Ryan Hanigan and Grant Balfour, and a manager like Joe Maddon, the Rays will be a legit threat. Their time is now and their chances are good.