Despite adding Logan Morrison and Rickie Weeks over the past couple of days, the Tampa Bay Rays may not be done adding to their roster.
As one looks out over the free agent landscape, it is surprising as to how many players are still available. Players like Mike Napoli and Matt Wieters are still out on the market; their expected windfall not likely to occur. Instead, these players may be looking for one year deals, taking what they can get before testing their luck yet again next year.
This surprisingly slow market for mid tier free agents could prove to be a boon for the Tampa Bay Rays. Although they added Logan Morrison at first base, and brought in Rickie Weeks as a possible utility player, the Rays are still on the lookout for another bat. Players such as Napoli, Wieters, Chris Carter, and the recently designated for assignment Byung Ho Park are still considered possibilities.
With so many options being available, and a limited number of openings around the league, the price for each of these players could well drop to the Rays comfort level. A player like Wieters, who would be a solid option behind the plate in the event that Wilson Ramos is not ready to catch over the first half of the season, could be a great fit. Park or Carter could be a nice platoon option with Morrison, while providing some needed power off the bench.
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As Spring Training approaches, and players are looking to make plans for the next few weeks, it becomes all the more imperative that these players know where they are going. Having few options,along with the oversaturation of similar players, could make it where the first player to blink gets signed while the others continue to twist in free agency.
For the Rays, this may well be their best case scenario come true. Quite a few options are before them, even after adding pieces in the past few days. Wieters and Napoli can still produce at a reasonable level, and would be a solid upgrade for the Rays. Meanwhile, Park and Carter are interesting players, and well worth a look.
While the Rays pitching staff looks to be a strength, the biggest questions for the ballclub have been on the offensive side. Even with the signings of Morrison and Weeks, those questions remain. Adding another bat could certainly help improve the Rays offensive firepower this year.
The free agent market may be working out in the Tampa Bay Rays favor. As such, it may not be a surprise if they end up signing another bat or two before Spring Training.