The Tampa Bay Rays went to work in the offseason to make sure they have the right group of ball players in the clubhouse make a deep playoff run. This may just be an “all in” year for the Rays. The Rays just traded Alex Torres and Jesse Hahn last week to the San Diego Padres for a utility man, a pitcher and more young prospects. The Rays received Logan Forsythe and Brad Boxberger to go along with three prospects. Forsythe has the ability to play multiple positions. Joe Maddon loves these versatile players to plug into his lineup. The Rays also received right-hander Brad Boxberger who can help deepen the Rays’ pitching staff.
Alex Torres was an absolute shutdown pitcher for the Rays last season. He was originally a starter but Joe Maddon used Torres brilliantly out of the bullpen in 2013. He will certainly be missed as he was a lefty Rays’ fans could count on each night. Torres is only 26 years old and has a very bright future in the big leagues. It is very difficult decision to trade an elite pitcher like Torres but fans must trust in Andrew Friedman. He has made the right decision most of the time for this organization over the last few years. The Rays also signed Grant Balfour to a two-year deal worth $12 million. He can be a dominant closer if he can stay healthy. This move was made two days after the Alex Torres trade. The Rays must have known they were close to signing Balfour before they traded Alex Torres away. Tampa Bay did get a lot of young talent in return for Torres so hopefully these prospects turn out.
Tampa Bay has a great opportunity this season to really make a long run now that they have kept most of their team intact. The Rays are putting their best team out there this year and hoping to come back with a title. The Rays must continue to compete with the New York Yankees which spent a ton of money this offseason. Keeping David Price was a big decision for the franchise and they would not have kept Price if the Rays didn't think they had a serious playoff run in them. Signing James Loney to a three-year deal worth $21 million was huge as well. This is the highest payroll the Rays have ever had and it is time to cash in this upcoming season. There have been many moves this offseason for the Rays as Opening Day is only two months away. So get excited Rays’ fans, this could be the year.