Offseason Changes: Tampa Bay (DON’T call them ‘Devil’) Rays

 

The Rays face some interesting decisions this offseason (and not just what to do with these awful sportscoats), and most of them will alter the fantasy landscape.  So here I am to help you.  And by that I mean share my opinions on some of the changes I am interested in.   I do what I want.  So here are some thoughts on the Tampa Bay Devil Rays:

 

Carl Crawford

Where is he going?  Now that the Rays are out, he’s got a lot to think about.  The Angels of the greater California Area are said to be major players for the speedster, and that could make for a very interesting lineup for the Angels and for fantasy owners.  With Morales coming back and the tools that lineup already has (Abreu, Torii Hunter, some interesting young power), Crawford could put up more great numbers atop that lineup or batting 3rd behind Abreu and whatever contact guy they decide to leadoff with.  This is the option I hope for, as the Red Sox don’t really need an outfielder…

 

…but there is the very real chance that Crawford could get swooped up by the monster Yankees if they don’t win this year (or hell, even if they DO win!).  Imagine freakin’ Crawford hitting in front of that lineup.  Imagine Crawford anywhere in that lineup!  Good.  Lord.  But fantasy-wise, that would be the craziest thing to happen to an already top ten fantasy player in years.

 

This situation, suffice to say, is one to watch.  And either way, it means Desmond Jennings gets the call.  So watch Crawford, but be EXTREMELY wary of the rookie’s progress as well…

 

Carlos Pena

If Pena leaves, does that create a power vacuum in Tampa?  Yes.  Anywhere he goes(Red Sox, Mets, heck the Mariners?)  gets what they get- a 30-40 homer guy who will not ever hit .300.  Ever.  Not even if there’s a fire.  Pena is the type of hitter whose value will remain consistent wherever he goes- he hits bombs- but how prolific his numbers are could be interesting.  If he goes to a protecting lineup, he could see a rise in value.  If he goes to the Mets, he could get herpes all over his body or something horrible.  But either way he’ll hit bombs.  Except if he goes to the Mets.   I just dislike the Mets. He’s not going there. His leaving also creates an interesting situation in Tampa.  What do they do?  Who do they sign?  Are they going to play Ben Zobrist at first base?  Allowing Brignac to play more?  Or lil Beckham hanging around in the minors?  These are questions to ponder and be on the lookout for this offseason, as they will obviously affect more than just the signing itself and the team Pena signs with and both Pena’s and others (Zobrist) could be significantly (fantasy) altered.

BJ Upton

Is this his last chance?  When does a team finally say put up or shut up?  His talent is undeniable, so what the hell is he doing hitting .240!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!  If it was me, I’d have Bossman on a short leash.  My advice for fantasy is to keep an eye on him and draft cautiously, or be burned once more.

Wade Davis/ Jeremy Hellickson

Watch how these two young arms mature in the new season.  If Davis controls his walks and Hellickson matures, this could put the Rays in an interesting situation.  One to the bullpen?  Either one could be a viable fantasy option.  I like Davis, as he showed some Cajones down the stretch and I’d like to see where he goes.  Hellickson might need a bit more seasoning and could benefit from a stint as a setup man, developing his pitches while the Rays figure out what to do with him.  He could be a useful pickup either way in deeper leagues (Davis is a sleeper for next year in my book).

 

Well, those are some thoughts on the Rays offseason and how they affect your offseason.  Here’s a nice piece in the Boston Globe about the uncertainty the Rays face. In, you know, an almost unbiased opinion…

 

 

GO RANGERS

 

-w

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Filed under Cajones, Fantasy Baseball, MLB, Opinion, Posted

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