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The Tampa Bay Rays State Of The Union For 2014

The Rays are always at the bottom for attendance in the Major Leagues, which is a shame for how successful this team has been for the last 6 years - posting 4 playoff berths and an AL Pennant.  This has all been done on a shoestring budget - and facing the toughest strength of schedule in the bigs,

The Rays are always at the bottom for attendance in the Major Leagues, which is a shame for how successful this team has been for the last 6 years – posting 4 playoff berths and an AL Pennant. This has all been done on a shoestring budget – and facing the toughest strength of schedule in the bigs.  The 2014 season will pose the same kind of challenges and problems that have arisen in the teams history.  The Rays have to contend with high payroll teams like Boston and New York fielding ALL – Star squad’s throughout their lineups.  The management has done a fantastic job to stay competitive, and will rely on their franchise depth to post yet another nice record for a 7th consecutive year.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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The Tampa Bay Rays are still one of the best run franchises in baseball, and have put themselves in a position to contend for the AL East for yet another campaign.

I hope the Rays Management decides against trading David Price in the next 2 years, and just goes for a World Series trophy.

Being the 13th biggest city, and yielding the 28th lowest payroll in the game should not be conducive to sustained success, yet there the Rays are pesky every year.

It has been noted on this website plenty, that since the beginning of 2008, the Rays have the second best record in the game to the Yankees in this time frame.

In that span, they trail the Bronx Bombers by just around 10 wins.

Wil Myers 2013 Highlights

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Tampa Bay Rays Organization: 2014 Depth Charts + Rosters, (MLB + MiLB)

Joe Maddon has a career Record of 704 - 644 (.522), but is 552 - 421 (.567) over the last 6 years  from 2008 - 2013.  He runs his offenses like the Angels used to, with a NL style built on speed and contact.  He may be the best AL Skipper when it comes to utilizing players versatility and matchups. Maddon is also great at working in Rookie players.

Joe Maddon has a career Record of 704 – 644 (.522), but is 552 – 421 (.567) over the last 6 years from 2008 – 2013. He runs his offenses like the Angels used to, with a NL style built on speed and contact. He may be the best AL Skipper when it comes to utilizing players versatility and matchups. Maddon is also great at working in Rookie players.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): & Jeff Kleiner (Org. Depth Chart Expert)

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The Tampa Rays have been the model franchise in the AL for the last 6 years.  Of course the St. Louis Cardinals club would be the team of the National League.

Besides the New York Yankees, the Tampa Bay Rays have won more games in the last 6 years.

The teams record is 552 -421 during this time span, including 4 playoff spots and 1 AL Pennant.

The key to the teams continuous consistency is their Minor League System.  From 9 years of drafting high from 1998 – 2007, to then making smart trades, the Rays have have been able to sustain their club by using the farm.

Wil Myers 2013 Highlights

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Tampa Bay Rays Organization: 2013 Team Payroll, Depth Charts + Rosters, (MLB + MiLB)

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Thursday, June.20/2013

The Rays had a horrible string of seasons from 1998 - 2007 in terms of Won - Loss Record.  Because of their futile showings, they were able to draft high.  Since 2008, they have posted a winning record every season since, have made the playoffs 3 times, and have turned over the Roster several times.  They are competitive, cost effective and play in the vaunted AL East with powerhouse teams like the Yankees and Red Sox

The Rays had a horrible string of seasons from 1998 – 2007 in terms of Won – Loss Record. Because of their futile showings, they were able to draft high. Since 2008, they have posted a winning record every season since, have made the playoffs 3 times, and have turned over the Roster several times. They are competitive, cost effective and play in the vaunted AL East with powerhouse teams like the Yankees and Red Sox.  The brass of the organization has done a commendable job.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): and welcome Jeff Kleiner (Salary, Roster and Depth Chart Expert for the MLB) – visit his website  here  

You guys are all in for a treat.  Jeff Kleiner recently contacted me about a partnership merge for the website.  He has developed a site (prosportsrosters.com) that covers all organizational affiliates in the Minors for all of the Major League Baseball Clubs.  We are going to combine efforts to bring you the best look at salaries, current 25 Man Player Rosters and Depth Charts for all 30 teams. 

Jeff is going to provide the documents in form of spreadsheets and I am going to accompany the posts with deep analysis of what the numbers tell us from my perspective.  If you can’t wait for all of my assessments for each club, go and visit Jeff’s website over at http://www.prosportsrosters.com.

In Speaking with Jeff, he is one of the more passionate fans I have come across towards the game of baseball.  He spends enough time in updating his MLB Facts for it to be a Full-Time Job.  So after the usual Video Clip and READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY button, you will find some serious &*!@?!#!

Jeff updates this page below on a daily basis.  After you click on it….Bookmark it.  There is a 3 year salary forecast and stats not listed here on this page.  Jeff updates these pages daily and these changes include any Roster moves!

For a Full 3 year Salary Outlook plus last years Stats for every player in the Rays Organization click here

David Price 2012 Highlights – Rays Song:

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The Tampa Bay Rays: The Franchise 1998-2012: Part 1 Of A 5 Part Article Series

Thursday, December.20, 2012

Note from Chuck Booth:  I am attempting to bring the history for each of the 30 MLB Franchises into a 5 part series that will focus on 1. The teams history.  2. The hitters 3. The pitchers. 4. The Teams Payroll going into 2013 and 5. The Ball Park that they play in. (The stadium articles will all be done next summer when I go to all of the parks in under a month again.)  Be sure to check my author page with a list of all of  my archived articles section here.

The many Rays Logo's over the years.  Is the best of this franchise yet tom come

The many Rays Logo’s over the years. Is the best of this franchise yet to come?

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer/Website Owner):

The Tampa Bay Rays Franchise can be summarized into two different categories:  “The Devil Rays Days” and the “Rays Days.”  The Devil Rays endured 10 straight losing seasons to start the club’s history.  From 1998-2007, was a complete gong show (645-972) and last place finishes in a tough AL East every year, except for 2004, when they finished 4th, although they did stockpile several top Draft Picks based on their horrid regular seasons.  In 2008, all of that changed when the ‘Devil’ was literally and figuratively knocked away from the Tampa Bay team.  Their young stars finally saw their potential realized and they appeared in the 2008 World Series versus the Philadelphia Phillies.  The Franchise would lose in 5 hard-fought, weather fulfilled games, however the team was now one of the model clubs in baseball.  From 2008-2012, the club has gone 458-352.

The Rays have made the playoffs in 2010 and 2011 since, plus featured two other over .500 records in 2009 and 2012.  The club has now had 5 winning seasons in a row.  There is still a long way to go as they feature the worst winning percentage in MLB History, with a 1103-1327 Franchise Record (.454).  The next worst team is the Padres at .463.  The Arizona DiamondBacks were the NL Expansion cousins of the Rays and they feature a Win Percentage of (.498), which is second overall for the Expansion teams.  The Arizona DiamondBacks also have made the playoffs 5 times and won the World Series in 2001.  Still if you asked anyone right now, the Rays would gladly be the team everyone picked.

Franchise Series Links:

The Hitters:  The Tampa Bay Rays: The Hitters 1998-2012: Part 2 Of A 5 Part Article Series

The Pitchers:  The Tampa Bay Rays: The Pitchers 1998-2012: Part 3 Of A 5 Part Article Series

2013 Team Payroll:  Tampa Bay Rays Payroll 2013 And Contracts Going Forward: Updated for Myers Trade Dec.11/2012

Tropicana Field Expert:  An Interview with Tropicana Field Expert Kurt Smith

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The Blue Jays Payroll 2013: A Reader’s thoughts On The Jays Part 7 of a 7 Article Series

Wednesday, September.12/2012

Note from Chuck Booth:  Sometimes at the Reports, we are fortunate to have someone take out some serious time to write a huge-detailed explanation of their thoughts on a piece we have written about.  I was blown away by the enthusiasm of one of these such readers.  Alex Mednick and I started back and forth on the piece I wrote about the 2013 Toronto Blue Jays and I suggested that we should give his analysis a full appreciation by posting it in a guest column for him,  So this is Alex’s guest column:

Alex Anthopoulos has fixed a lot of the problems that J.P. Ricciardi left him with. It will take a few more years to see the club reap the benefits of the stock-piled talent coming from the replenished Minor League System.

Alex Mednick: (Special Guest Writer):

Update after the Nov.13 Trade with Miami:

Man, I gotta say…The move with the Miami Marlins made by the Blue Jays shows that management want’s to play ball.  Signing Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle give the Blue Jays two bonafide front-end starters to add into the mix in 2013.  With a healthy year from Johnson and Morrow, you’ve got to guys with electric stuff going 1-2, and Buehrle is about as solid of a #3 any team could wish for.  Romero in the number 4 slot, takes a lot of pressure off of him to bounce back, and even if he can simply perform at 90% of what he is capable of…it’s a pretty sight for the Blue Jays to have this kind of rotation in the AL East.  Management definitely quieted some dubious fans and put it’s money where it’s mouth is!  

The signing of 29 year old Jose Reyes gives the Blue Jays a superstar shortstop up the middle for the next 5 years.  A guy to lead off who gets on base and steals 40+ bases a year will be very nice to set up the table for Bautista, Encarnacaion and Lawrie.  And I wouldn’t be surprised if the Blue Jays still added some more pop to the lineup by trading for an offensively minded left fielder or DH.  

The Blue Jays inherited a lot of salary from the deal, but only parted with a few prospects from their deep farm system (Nicolino…one of the Big 3 pitchers, Hechevarria, and Marisnick).  They now have Bonifacio and Izturis at 2nd base who are nearly identical players and can deal from a sudden strength there in a emaciated 2nd base market…and they have a plethora of catchers in another thin market, that they can trade.  Not to mention the remainder of their extensively talented farm system which they can use as trade bait.  

I don’t think the Blue Jays are happy with expecting Adam Lind to bounce back, and I’m unsure whether they are comfortable with Gose/Rasmus in CF either so I would expect them to bring in another outfielder or DH.  They already have incredible speed on the basepaths between Gose, Lawrie, Bonifacio, Reyes and Davis.  

They may still go after ANOTHER pitcher in the mold of Edwin Jackson, but it is doubtful that they want to spend any more money on the rotation after acquiring Johnson and Buehrle.  If they did anything it would likely be via trade, but why when they have Drew Hutchinson, Kyle Drabek, JA Happ and a bunch of other great 5th starter possibilities laying in wait?  They are more likely at this point to use trading chips for offense/and or bench players.

The Blue Jays finally made a bold move that shows they recognize that with their current players/contracts/core and the current health of the AL East…the time to strike was now…we couldn’t continue to wait for a rich farm to develop and then harvest.  Who would have ever guessed that the two front end starters we required this offseason would come in a single trade? Out of nowhere! And we knew that Yunel Escobar was on the trading block, but we never would have expected to have a Super Star like Jose Reyes at SS for the next 5 years?  I know the Blue Jays inquired on Reyes last year during the offseason, but wow…All we can say is “Thank you Mr. Loria”.

I really enjoyed your analysis of the Blue Jays future (for that blog click here ) along with your digest of the various possibilities and directions that may chose going forward.

Furthermore, you hit the nail on the head: When Alex Anthopoulos  inherited this team from J.P. Ricciardi, he was merely a protégé of a failed, and over-hyped GM (Ricciardi), who was the protégé of Billy Beane…possibly also “over-hyped”. If Anthopoulos learned anything from his time working under J.P. Ricciardi, and his time sweeping floors in Montreal it may have been this: “While some people may quantify your value based on perceived potential, it is best to quantify yourself on what you have actually done”. Therefore, Anthoploulos wasted no time making moves and proving to all of Canada (along with most of baseball) that he truly is a Ninja. Somehow, someway…he was able to convince the Angels brass, and the ChiSox to fill in the holes that Ricciardi had dug with contract extensions to Vernon Wells and Alex Rios (respectively).

For Part 1 of a 7 Part Article Series:  The Toronto Blue Jays Franchise 1977-1993, click here

For Part 6 of the 7 Part Series:  Blue Jays 2013 Team Payroll Click here:

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