The Tampa Bay Rays were eliminated in the ALDS by Gerrit Cole and the Houston Astros. As they sit on what was a great season for them, where do they go next?
It was a wonderful ride for the Tampa Bay Rays, but now it’s over. They went into the playoffs with the worst odds to win the World Series, and not only did they beat the Oakland A’s on the road in the Wild Card Game, but they took the top-seeded Houston Astros to a winner-take-all Game 5 in the ALDS.
The Rays were overcoming expectations all season. Not many thought a team that low in the payroll could make that kind of noise in the postseason. They got great seasons out of Charlie Morton, Austin Meadows and Travis d’Arnaud. The team continued to generate the opener to near perfection. There was so much to love from this team and this season, despite the fairytale coming to an end on Thursday night.
This offseason, the Rays have an incredibly long list of things to do. At first glance, it looks like they have four contracts on the books. We’re not kidding. Luckily, only four of them are unrestricted free agents, but that’s still a ton of work to do for general manager Erik Neander. The team has to find which values they’re looking to deal with.
The Rays had the league’s lowest payroll, and the second-lowest attendance. We don’t expect the team to go on a spending spree this offseason, but Tampa Bay usually spends money on smart bets.
So, what should the Rays do this offseason now that 2019 is over for them? These five moves would help them continue to be contenders in 2020.