Rays: 16 Things to Look Forward To in 2016
Number Fourteen Thing to Look Forward to: International Progress
The Rays acquired some international free agents in Willy Adames and Chih-Wei Hu, both of which figure prominently in the Rays future. However, it’s the aggressive moves they’ve made on the international markets that are beginning to bring fruit closer to the majors.
The Rays signed German Marquez (HiA) in 2011. They spent over $4.1 million on international free agents in 2012 including C David Rodriguez (Rk), CF Angel Moreno (SS), and RHP Deivy Mendez (Rk). In 2013, they spent approximately $1.7 million with C Rafelin Lorenzo (C) and OF Manny Sanchez (SS) looking like great additions so far.
In 2014, it was another huge haul for the team as they made a huge investment in SS Adrian Rondon (GCL), and a duo of very high- ceilinged players in OF Jesus Sanchez (DSL) and LHP Resly Linares (DSL). In fact, the Rays spent so much in 2014 that it precluded them from signing anyone to a contract of over $300,000 in 2015, something that resulted in a lesser haul in 2015.
The Rays may not have any of their recent international investments on their 2016 roster at any point, but they’re going to enjoy watching them flourish into prominent prospects that should begin helping the team out in 2017 and beyond. The athleticism and ceilings that these players have could be game changers for the spending savvy Rays who should stand to benefit from their dedication to the international market for years to come.
Next: Number Fifteen Thing to Look Forward to: Better DH Production