The Rays Have Given Up

When they tweeted this thing out I thought it was an honest, genuine, thing where the Tampa Bay Rays were going to show behind-the-scenes stuff for their couple-dozen fans. But in reality, the name Ray Tank was being taken in a much more literal context.

Over the weekend, the Rays inexplicably designated Corey Dickerson, a dude who smashed 27 bombs last year, for assignment. They also dealt Jake Odorizzi to the Minnesota Twins for a prospect. Today, they dealt Steven Souza Jr. in a three-way deal that netted them another prospect.

So, over the winter, the Rays have dealt Souza, Dickerson, franchise icon Evan Longoria, and they appear to be allowing Alex Cobb and Logan Morrison to walk in free agency.


This is a good thing for the Jays. The gap between New York/Boston and Toronto got bigger this winter as the Red Sox and Yankees loaded up with J.D. Martinez and Giancarlo Stanton. Nothing really changed, as Toronto was already worse than those teams and the focus was always on the second wild card seed.

But the gap growing between Tampa and Toronto is helpful too. When it comes to the wild card race, we assume one of New York and Boston will be Wild Card No. 1, while the Jays duke it out with Seattle, Anaheim, and Minnesota. Maybe Baltimore and Texas too. The Twins have an inside edge because they get to kick the crap out of horrible teams like Kansas City, Chicago, and Detroit all year. So the more, well, awful the Rays get, the more beat up games the Jays have.

I mean, nothing is absolute and Tampa Bay still plays at The House of Horrors in which an easy win is never as easy as you’d expect it to be, but having a division rival to pound up on is a good thing for the Jays in regards to the wild card race.

Embrace the Rays Tank, Tampa. It’ll probably work nicely for you long-term like it did with Houston and you don’t have a fanbase to piss of anyway. Lean even further into it, honestly. We need this.

Actually, fuck, while you’re at it, can we have Chris Archer?

  • dolsh

    I’m kinda afraid that because you said “but having a division rival to pound up on is a good thing for the Jays” that Toronto will go 3-15 against Tampa now.

  • Oakville Jays

    I don’t see the logic of what the Rays ownership is doing. They announced the location of a site for a new stadium in downtown Tampa. They are trying to get state & local funding for the stadium. Having the team tank will depress attendance further. They are losing the fan base that would want to support the team.

    • The Humungus

      I think the idea is to have a wave of talented prospects who are all ready to do a recreation of 2008 in the first year in the new stadium.

      The Marlins tried the same thing (when they signed every free agent to mix with their youth the year the stadium opened)

    • Barry

      I think it’s a simple matter of them believing they need to shed those “big” salaries (which aren’t big for any other team) in order to keep the payroll low enough that they can try to break even through revenue sharing. And, in the process, continue to make the case that a new stadium would change team fortunes because attendance would go up. So, it’s “rebuild with prospects” and hope to have a winning team in time for the new stadium. Of course … the stadium isn’t funded yet.

      But if attendance stays rock bottom and there is no new stadium? I’m not sure ownership sees that as a problem. Revenue sharing provides ownership with a level of protection that the Expos, for example, never had. And no matter how dire things get, the team won’t have to fold; if attendance remains horrific, and the stadium situation remains unchanged, the case for relocation just gets stronger and stronger. It’s not an ownership that has strong ties to Tampa. Stuart Sternberg lives in New York, and a few years ago mulled over the idea of moving the Rays to Montreal.

  • Kris

    Off topic but the D-backs are having a very nice off-season even with losing Martinez. They have rebuilt their OF with Souza (almost 4WAR last season), Dyson for CF (defense and some OBP) and a new catcher in Avila (2.5WAR last season)

    • The Humungus

      The need to make sure not to waste any more of Paul Goldschmidt’s below market-value years (fangraphs has him #3 in position player WAR since 2013, behind only Donaldson and Trout; this is particularly insane when you note that he gets zero positional boost for the defensive component).

  • Steve-O

    Stupid Rays. Ugh. I know I’m a broken record on this, but please, for the love of the flying spaghetti monster, can MLB just force a sale and relocate this sad sack of a franchise to Montreal or fuck, I dunno, Mexico City? Portland? Or just do us all a favour and contract them.

    If you can’t do those things for whatever reason, sending them to the bottom of the sea is also a fine solution.

    • Barry

      I’m going to guess that the one-year commitment to Gomez, even at a larger salary, worked better for them than holding on to Souza, who would likely be getting significantly more in his upcoming arby years in 2019 and 2020. Short term, a bit more cash; long term, savings.

  • Guzman's Jheri Curl

    Joey Bats will sign 1yr deal with the Tankarays to play close to his place in St Pete…what could make house of horrors worse? Our own ex-legend smashing bombs into the empty seats against us this yr…

  • J. Paquin

    Did they tank though? Looking at some of the replacements they brought in I don’t anticipate there will be a very large swing in their expected wins/losses. I think they made some shrewd moves to fill these holes with undervalued market assets.