The offseason for the Tampa Bay Rays must seem like Groundhog Day. General Manager Andrew Friedman must feel like he is living the same process each year.
The questions about how much payroll is available, what pitchers will round out the bullpen, and how the team will replace the star player who is no longer on the team have become an annual occurrence. Not to mention the age-old question of who’s on first.
It is remarkable to think about what the Rays have accomplished since 2008, making the postseason four times, including two division titles and a World Series appearance. It is even more incredible when you consider the operating environment, competition in the AL East and financial constraints.
The blueprint for success has not changed for the Rays and will likely remain the same this season. That blueprint includes not paying market value for starting pitching, signing position players to low cost one-year-deals and building a roster of players who have flexibility to play in multiple roles.
Here are four results that need to happen in order for the Rays offseason to be successful.
All statistics and salary information courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.