Another year, another disappointing result for the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Rays found themselves in the postseason once again, their fourth consecutive trek to the playoffs. And once again, that journey ended in disappointment as they were unable to capture the first championship in franchise history. They went out with a whimper in the Wild Card round as the Guardians held them to one run over 24 innings.
Tampa Bay Rays looking to make changes to lineup
This is something that the Rays are aware that they need to address. Their president of baseball operations, Erik Neander, said that it was time to focus on the lineup, stating that “there’s an acknowledgment that our standards offensively, we want to raise them. And that includes taking a look at the group we have and figuring out ways to do that.”
This may be easier said than done. The Rays are not a team that is going to go out and outspend the competition in free agency. And they may need to have some of those improvements come from within, with Randy Arozarena taking the next step and better health from Brandon Lowe and Wander Franco.
Otherwise, the Rays are going to need to hope to find diamonds in the rough. They have had success in the bargain bin before, bringing in players on one year deals to rebuild their value or from the waiver wire. That sort of approach is likely to be the case again this year.
As the Rays have proven before, it is a strategy that can work. But it is also a strategy filled with holes and can lead to disaster. The Rays may want to change their plans, but that will cost money. Unless ownership shows a willingness to spend in free agency, the Rays may be hunting through the bargain bin once again.
The Tampa Bay Rays are saying the right things about changing their approach. But until that happens, those are just words that mean nothing.