These days, baseball fans in Tampa are on uncertain and unpredictable land.
The free agent market frenzy has begun and the Rays ownership has been very clear that they will be prudent regarding who they sign this winter and will try to not pay much for any new player.
More importantly, they must try to maintain as much as they can the team core that helped them win this past season's American League East Division pennant for the second time in three years.
The Rays know Carl Crawford and Rafael Soriano probably are gone with the budget approved by majority owner Stuart Sternberg last summer.
However, in these upcoming days, Tampa Bay fans may see some remaining glitter and brightness in their young franchise. The Rays could finally shine in history with their first Cy Young award winner.
Up to the present, the Rays and the Texas Rangers are the only two franchises in major league history without a Cy Young awardee.
Many around baseball believe hurler David Price deserves the 2011 American League Cy Young Award.
Price, 25, finished the 2010 regular season with 19-6 and 2.72 ERA record and was a first-time All-Star to the Mid-Summer Classic.
The Tennessee native already has won the Warren Spahn Award, recognizing him as the top left-handed pitcher in the majors, and also the MLB 2010 Players Choice Award winner of Most Outstanding American League Pitcher of the Year.
His biggest rival for the award is the New York Yankees’ C.C. Sabathia.
The Rays could also see Carl Crawford selected American League Most Valuable Player. Tampa Bay has also never had a league MVP in franchise history.
Even though Crawford had a career season, the MVP award is a long-shot as the Yankees’ Robinson Cano and Detroit Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera both had resoundingly excellent offensive seasons.
Somewhere in the Tampa area, there are few that prefer to let to the good times roll one more time with good news about their franchise.
Spring training and thoughts about what the 2011 Joe Maddon Rays and low budget will bring can wait until March.
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