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Tampa Bay Rays: Assessing the starting pitching market

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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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CLEVELAND, OH – SEPTEMBER 20: James Shields #33 of the Chicago White Sox pitches against the Cleveland Indians in the first inning at Progressive Field on September 20, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. The White Sox defeated the Indians 5-4 in 11 innings. (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH – SEPTEMBER 20: James Shields #33 of the Chicago White Sox pitches against the Cleveland Indians in the first inning at Progressive Field on September 20, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. The White Sox defeated the Indians 5-4 in 11 innings. (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images) /

It is hard to predict what the Rays will be willing to do this offseason with an abundance of young pitching one or two years away. It has never been the Rays way to sign big free agent starting pitchers to lengthy or expensive contract and just because they are looking to get to the playoffs, don’t expect that to change.

Trading for a controllable starter isn’t put of the question either but for the purposes of this discussion the Rays will most likely look to sign a starter.

The Rays have never had the financial flexibility to spend big on pitchers who will make no more than 30 starts in a season. Even with the added financial flexibility the Rays have this year, I still don’t see them making a splash in the free agent starting pitching market.

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Instead they will look to the latter half of the 2nd tier pitchers and most likely will look to the pitchers that reside in the 3rd tier. The Rays may strike gold and get lucky in the 3rd tier or they may spend a little on Morton or Ryu, time will tell but don’t expect the Rays to be in on J.A Happ, Nate Eovaldi, Dallas Keuchel, and others… you get the idea.

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