Red Sox Rival #3: Tampa Bay Rays
The biggest news of the Rays this offseason may be what they didn’t do. It was reported that the team reportedly offered Freddie Freeman a six year/$150 million contract, a deal that would have been easily the largest in the franchise’s history. Freeman eventually signed with the Dodgers, but this pursuit could indicate an organizational shift in philosophy.
The moves that the Rays have made, however, haven’t blown anyone away. Their biggest acquisition thus far has been Corey Kluber, a two-time Cy Young winner. Kluber was a solid mid-rotation option last year for the Yankees before missing two months with a shoulder injury.
This has been a common theme for Kluber, who has made just 24 starts over the last three years. Kluber can still be reasonably effective when healthy, but that has been a rare occurrence.
The Rays have also lost several key pieces this offseason, including DH Nelson Cruz, versatile reliever Colin Mchugh, and starter Michael Wacha. As we know, however, the Rays will always be competitive no matter how many players they lose, and a full season of Wander Franco should more than offset those losses.
That and their sudden willingness to spend money should worry all Red Sox fans moving forward.