The Tampa Bay Rays are wasting no time with Yunel Escobar, Ben Zobrist and David DeJesus as they picked up the options on all three players. Tampa Bay may be working on a multi-year deal with DeJesus which comes at somewhat of a surprise as this will make him one of the highest paid players on the team. The big question this offseason will be to see if they can get James Loney back and seeing what happens with David Price. Many rumors are going around that Price will be traded this offseason for a very nice package. Some fans think they should spend the extra money on James Loney instead of David DeJesus but sometimes it's hard to question what Andrew Friedman does. The Rays front office must think David DeJesus can make a big impact on this team. This probably means Kelly Johnson and possibly Matt Joyce will not be returning next season as they are lefties that play in the outfield as well. It would also be nice if the Rays can get Delmon Young back as they need right handed hitters in the lineup.
The World Series is over and now the next few months the Rays will be busy trying to evaluate their players to see who is worth keeping around with their limited payroll which will be decreasing this season once again. Some big name players that may be gone this offseason could be Kelly Johnson, James Loney, Fernando Rodney, Jamey Wright, Roberto Hernandez and Jose Molina could be free agents soon. Obviously James Loney is the most important part of this equation. Tampa Bay needs to find a way to keep him as he was a key player in their success this season but it seems very unlikely as other teams will certainly offer him more after the great season he had with this team. So if Loney goes, who do they bring in to play first base? Could they trade David Price for some quality pitching and a power hitting first baseman in return? We will all find out soon enough. It’s going to be hard for Rays’ fans to let Price go but he has not shown up in the playoffs and it is important the Rays get something for him while they can. It could be much better than what they got for James Shields with Wil Myers.
There are many questions that will be answered in the next few months on how they go about this offseason. The first surprise started today when they re-signed David DeJesus. His numbers were not that impressive through 35 games but give him a full year of work and hopefully they will increase. Andrew Friedman will work his magic and bring in the right players that fit into this system. We all know Joe Maddon likes versatility and David DeJesus does bring them just that.