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Who Will Be the Tampa Bay Rays’ Leaders in 2015?

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Mar 31, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays president Matthew Silverman and general manager Andrew Friedman prior to the game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Hi. My name is Andrew and I’m a new writer here at Rays Colored Glasses. I’ve been writing about the MLB for over ten years. I’m excited to share with you many (hopefully) great stories about the Rays throughout the 2015 season.

The Tampa Bay Rays have been changing their identity. It started midway through 2014 when they traded longtime ace David Price. Then the offseason began and the shifts came among the non-playing personnel Andrew Friedman, the architect of the Rays’ improbable run of contention, headed to the Los Angeles Dodgers while beloved manager Joe Maddon pursued a new adventure with the Chicago Cubs.

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Then the new regime, led by new President of Baseball Operations Matt Silverman, continued the trend by making major changes to the Rays’ roster. The team has now traded away Ben Zobrist, Wil Myers, Matt Joyce, Yunel Escobar, Ryan Hanigan, Jeremy Hellickson, Sean Rodriguez, and Cesar Ramos. Plus there is still another solid month before spring training and still other players could move.

The Rays are in a rebuilding stage, but not from ground level. I’d say that it’s more of a renovation.  With teams like the Toronto Blue Jays, Boston Red Sox, and (to a lesser extent) the New York Yankees all improving this offseason, the Rays find themselves in a difficult division to take over with a very young squad.

Even though the team is renovating their look, though, that doesn’t mean that the 2015 season will be wasted.  Remember that many of these trades have brought fresh new talent into their farm system and that the Rays’ draft results have turned around as well. We will begin seeing the fruits of the Rays’ organization right from the beginning of the year.

One question that has to be asked is the following: who will lead these new Tampa Bay Rays? There is one obvious choice in Evan Longoria, but he can’t do it alone as the Rays hope to make their way to a brighter future before long.  After all, let’s be honest–after the atrocious stretch from 1998 to 2007, the Rays can’t afford another lengthy rebuilding period.

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