When you're in the same division as the Yankees and Red Sox, you only have so many chances to win. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports presents the long-term strategies the Rays and Jays are likely to adopt as they try to compete with their richer division rivals:
- Rosenthal says the Rays would likely trade Carl Crawford if they were in another division.
- They'll listen to offers for him this offseason, but they may decide they need to capitalize on their chance to win now and hold onto Crawford, even if it means they only obtain compensation picks in return.
- Like Crawford, Carlos Pena will be a tough sign when he hits free agency after the 2010 season.
- The Rays were serious about their pursuit of Roy Halladay, Victor Martinez and Cliff Lee because they sense that they can win now.
The Blue Jays, will likely build for the future around their young pitching, plus Adam Lind, Aaron Hill and Travis Snider.
- Rosenthal expects the Jays to trade Roy Halladay after the season.
- He doesn't expect them to re-sign Marco Scutaro (a likely Type A free agent) or Rod Barajas (a likely Type B free agent). Instead they can take compensation picks in next year's draft.