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Why the Rays are stuck this offseason

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08:11 AM ET 10.15 | There may be as many as five spots open the Rays' lineup, which means, again, that Tampa Bay will have to be creative with the payroll in 2013. After increasing from $44 million in 2008 to $63 million in 2009 and $73 million in 2010, they scaled back to $42 million in 2011 then back up in 2012. What helps? Shedding free agents Carlos Pena, B.J. Upton, Luke Scott and Kyle Farnsworth chops off more than $22.5 million. What hurts? With built-in and projected arbitration increases, it will cost them around $50 million to keep the rest of the core, and that's for about 17 players. So that wouldn't seem to leave room for many impactful additions without any meaningful subtractions.

Tampa Bay Times

Evan Longoria, Icon Sports Evan Longoria, Icon Sports
October 15, 2012  08:40 AM ET

I have a feeling this franchise will be relocating before any kind of a meaningful agreement on a new ballpark happens in this market.

October 15, 2012  08:41 AM ET

It they shave off 22.5 million and add 50 million for just 17 players that an increase of payroll of 27.5 million and are still short 8 players to fill the roster. Bad front office management of adding high price players and not receiving the benefits in return.

Comment #3 has been removed
October 15, 2012  08:53 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

Would they be better off playing in Dunedin?

I think the Jays have territorial rights there...ha, ha!

October 15, 2012  08:56 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

Would they be better off playing in Dunedin?

Tampa Bay: A waste of really good baseball.

October 15, 2012  09:13 AM ET

Great discussion over a couple of beers: How good a team would the Rays managment put on the field in a market that supported a larger salary base?
They've done a hell of a job with no fan support and an uncompetitive salary budget. Give them some money and a strong market and they would be ???????

Comment #7 has been removed
Comment #8 has been removed
October 15, 2012  10:04 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

I give the Rays' front office props for being really smart with their draft picks, but they're still driven to a great degree by talent they built up in the years they were truly awful and got early picks...it's different when the team is driven to be competitive year after year and doesn't get the prime picks.Guess the Bosox will have a chance to get a prime pick next draft DESPITE the fact they were trying to compete this season!!! At least until the Dodger dump...

Maybe the BoSox will try to emulate the Rays', find draft talent, keep payroll reasonable and find FAs who are productive if not big names (i.e. Cody Ross).
Don't know if the fan base would have the patience to let such an approach mature into a run for the pennant/WS?

October 15, 2012  10:31 AM ET
QUOTE(#9):

Maybe the BoSox will try to emulate the Rays', find draft talent, keep payroll reasonable and find FAs who are productive if not big names (i.e. Cody Ross). Don't know if the fan base would have the patience to let such an approach mature into a run for the pennant/WS?

As long as the trajectory was upward, I think the fans would be fine with it. An extended bridge year. Tampa Bay was horrible for years, but their plan proved correct in the end. The Sox have more resources, so, the process should be quicker. Even the Yanks did best in the late 90's with a core of homegrown players.

Comment #11 has been removed
October 15, 2012  11:25 AM ET

rays are in better position than, the red sox and the jays, lets not forget BJ UPTON would be a free agent, carlos pena free agent as well,the rays do have enough starters to trade for a bat or two, the rays had have the right amount in young players and healthy pitchers either way the owner see them,,,

October 15, 2012  11:53 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

Would they be better off playing in Dunedin?

Knology Park is a very nice venue, right on the water.

October 15, 2012  12:01 PM ET
QUOTE(#6):

Great discussion over a couple of beers: How good a team would the Rays managment put on the field in a market that supported a larger salary base?They've done a hell of a job with no fan support and an uncompetitive salary budget. Give them some money and a strong market and they would be ???????

the cardinals? some other continually competitive franchise

October 15, 2012  02:16 PM ET
QUOTE(#13):

Knology Park is a very nice venue, right on the water.

It's not on the water, and it's not nice.

October 15, 2012  02:20 PM ET
QUOTE(#15):

It's not on the water, and it's not nice.

You clearly have no clue where I'm talking about and have never been there. It's one block from the Gulf of Mexico, and it's a very nice stadium. Try Googling it.

Comment #17 has been removed
October 15, 2012  07:32 PM ET
QUOTE(#16):

You clearly have no clue where I'm talking about and have never been there. It's one block from the Gulf of Mexico, and it's a very nice stadium. Try Googling it.

No need to Google it. I only live 25 miles from it. I stand by my statement.

October 15, 2012  09:11 PM ET

wiseup: time for the Rays to make some tough decisions. Keep your core. Keep Longoria, maybe Zobrist , Price and Shields. rest of team could be available for trades to fill holes or reload minors. Next spring or even in winter league play minor league players to see what you have.

 
October 15, 2012  09:32 PM ET

wiseup: What about the Rays moving to Jacksonville?about the same distance between miami and Atlanta. Rays would only be moving from west coast of Florida diectly across to east coast. Could Jax. jaguars share their stadium with rays until rays could get a stadium built? I'm not familar with design of jaguars stadium if it could be designed for baseball.

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