Rays News

Tampa Bay Rays: Assessing the starting pitching market

By Austin Reimann
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 26: Nathan Eovaldi #17 of the Boston Red Sox delivers the pitch during the thirteenth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game Three of the 2018 World Series at Dodger Stadium on October 26, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 26: Nathan Eovaldi #17 of the Boston Red Sox delivers the pitch during the thirteenth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game Three of the 2018 World Series at Dodger Stadium on October 26, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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ST PETERSBURG, FL – SEPTEMBER 30: Austin Pruitt #50 of the Tampa Bay Rays throws a pitch in the ninth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays on September 30, 2018 at Tropicana Field in St Petersburg, Florida. The Rays won 9-4. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
ST PETERSBURG, FL – SEPTEMBER 30: Austin Pruitt #50 of the Tampa Bay Rays throws a pitch in the ninth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays on September 30, 2018 at Tropicana Field in St Petersburg, Florida. The Rays won 9-4. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

It is assumed that the Tampa Bay Rays will be in the market for a starting pitcher this offseason as they look to return to playoff baseball in 2019. This offseason features a long list of free agent starting pitchers, let’s take a look at who the Rays might go after.

In a free agent class headlined by superstars Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, the Tampa Bay Rays could swoop in and surprise some teams as they look to spend this offseason rather than sell.

It is still unclear as to whether or not the Rays will attempt to sign a power bat like Cruz, or sign Donaldson to a one year deal, as he looks to rebound from an injury riddled 2018. What is clear is that the Rays will be looking to upgrade at catcher, possibly looking to bring back Wilson Ramos,  as well as supplementing their budding superstar Blake Snell with a controllable or veteran starter.

As the Rays work to supplement Blake Snell and Tyler Glasnow, especially until their top pitching prospects, Brent Honeywell, Anthony Banda, and Jose De Leon return from Tommy John surgery, they may look to the free agent market to add a veteran starter.

A group of free agent pitchers that is headlined by stars like Dallas Keuchel and Cole Hamels could allow the Rays to sneak in and sign any number of remaining starting pitchers to reinforce their rotation in 2019. Let’s breakdown the starting pitching market that the Tampa Bay Rays will be navigating this offseason and some of the big names and possible targets for the Rays.

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