With news a little slow on the Baltimore Orioles front, I decided to take a look at the other teams in the AL East and how their offseasons have gone so far. After tackling the New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays previously, let's look at the Tampa Bay Rays.
While the Rays were still a good team last year, they weren't quite the 100 win team in 2021 and AL Pennant winners in 2020, finishing in third place in the AL East with a 86-76 record, six games back of second place and three games ahead of the fourth place Orioles.
AL East Offseason in Review: Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays seem to eternally have holes on their roster yet always field good teams despite that. This offseason, they had a clear need for offense, as their lineup was quite bad down the stretch and in the playoffs in 2022, getting swept away by the Cleveland Guardians.
- Mike Zunino-signed with Cleveland Guardians (0.0 fWAR in 2022)
- Corey Kluber-signed with Boston Red Sox (3.0 fWAR)
- Kevin Kiermaier-signed with Toronto Blue Jays (1.1 fWAR)
- Ji-Man Choi-traded to Pittsburgh Pirates (1.3 fWAR)
- JT Chargois (-0.1 fWAR), Xavier Edwards-traded to Miami Marlins
- Miles Mastrobuoni-traded to Chicago Cubs (-0.2 fWAR)
- Ryan Yarbrough-DFA'd, signed with Kansas City Royals (0.0 fWAR)
- Javy Guerra-traded to Milwaukee Brewers (-0.3 fWAR)
- JP Feyereisen-traded to Los Angeles Dodgers (1.0 fWAR)
- Brooks Raley-traded to New York Mets (0.9 fWAR)
- David Peralta-free agent (1.7 fWAR)
It's not like the Rays had a lot of notable names to begin with, but most of them are now gone, including Feyereisen, who was one of their best arms, allowing exactly zero earned runs in 2022. Perhaps he actually wanted more than the league minimum for a salary.
So, how do I put this, the Rays haven't done a whole lot this offseason. They signed exactly one free agent to a major league contract, that being starting pitcher Zach Eflin. He signed a three year, $40 million deal, the largest free agent contract the Rays have given out.
Maybe that deal alone put the Rays at their spending limit this offseason, because all other additions they have made have been minor league deals, the most notable name in that mix being Colten Brewer. Yeah. It's been that kind of an offseason.
It's not surprising to not see the Rays do a whole lot in the offseason, because they're a small market team and pride themselves on internal player development. But still, it's pretty depressing to Rays fans when the team only signs exactly one player, and it's January 12 as I'm writing this.
For a team that needed offense and more offense, that one player wasn't even a hitter, it was a starting pitcher. Yet, despite this, the Rays will still win more than 80 games and continue to puzzle us all by how they somehow look good. It's just how this works.