MLBTR will provide a broader view of each club’s winter plans when our annual Offseason Outlook series kicks off at the end of the regular season. Until then, the Rays are the latest team to be featured in our quick look at this season’s non-contenders. We’ve already covered the Angels, Brewers, and Twins.
Things fell apart this year for Tampa Bay, which entered with hopes that a deep rotation and bolstered offense would spur a return to the playoffs. Instead, the club vanished into the basement of the AL East — a place it hadn’t visited since 2007 — and ended up dealing away Matt Moore, Brandon Guyer, and Steve Pearce at the trade deadline.
Still, the most significant of those trades, the Moore swap, brought back a controllable major league asset in Matt Duffy — who, they hope, will fill a need at shortstop — and the organization continues to field a number of affordable players with reasonable promise. A full-blown rebuild seems unlikely for a team that has typically focused on remaining competitive even while hunting for value and exchanging increasingly expensive veterans for youthful talent.
Operating on the presumption that the Rays don’t intend to shop their best assets this winter, preferring instead to build around their core, here are three areas where the team has significant needs this winter: