The Tampa Bay Rays' 2014 season has not gone according to plan.
As mid-May approaches, the Rays find themselves in last place in the American League East with three of their five starting pitchers on the disabled list.
At the beginning of spring training, pitchers Jake Odorizzi, Cesar Ramos and Erik Bedard were all competing for the Rays fifth starter spot in the rotation. Today, all three are in the rotation. In other words, the team’s third-through-fifth starters are truly their sixth-through-eighth options.
That is certainly not good for a team that has postseason ambitions.
If this season continues to take a downward trend the team will need to begin preparations for 2015 and beyond.
A large part of the future planning will involve the composition of the roster—deciding which players to keep and which players to let go. Planning for beyond this season is neither an easy process nor a fast process.
One way the Rays can keep the roster competitive is by making trades. By exchanging current players for future prospects, they can keep a pipeline of players that are young and affordable.
Here is a look at three trades the Rays should already be thinking about.
All statistics and salary information courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.