Rays SS Depth: 4 Will Battle for Starting Job

By Mat Germain
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Jun 7, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners shortstop Brad Miller (5) hits an RBI-single against the Tampa Bay Rays during the seventh inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Rays Manager Kevin Cash wants someone to grab the SS position with the Rays in 2016. Rumors of Javier Baez coming to TB are still swirling, but if that doesn’t happen, which of 4 candidates will win the job outright, if any?

The Rays have never really had a superstar shortstop that they could count on season after season in the same way they’ve been able to do at 3B with Evan Longoria. That may soon change as high-ranking prospects like Willy Adames and Adrian Rondon march up the minors system, but they’re still a ways off from making an impact at the MLB level.

What we want to know for 2016 is whether or not someone can become prominent enough early on in the season to earn the majority of the playing time at SS? And if not Javier Baez through trade, who will it be?

The Rays are likely hoping that the promise Brad Miller showed at the end of the season in Seattle will translate to a great 2016. Although he’s primarily seen as a SS, however, he does have the kind of versatility that can make him “Zobrist-esque” if he does lose the job to another. There’s no doubt that the best option would be for him to either be a SS, or to be that flexible piece, and not a combination of the two. As Kevin Cash recently stated and as quoted in Marc Topkin’s piece today:

"“We would like for somebody to kind of take the reins and become our shortstop,””We were kind of in a similar position last year, and Asdrubal Cabrera did that. So hopefully we can figure some stuff out in spring training and each individual makes the most of the opportunities they will be presented.”"

We all hope someone does take charge of the position. Let’s take a close look at the top candidates and see what they have to offer in past – present – future format.

Next: First up, it's MILLER TIME!!!