Starting Pitchers (3)
Blake Snell, LHP, 26 (Opening Day Age)
Only one word can describe Blake Snell’s 2018 campaign, dominant. He was utterly dominant this past season, leading the league in countless statistical categories. He won 21 games and had an ERA under two. His ERA+ of 219 led and he struck out 221 batters in only 180.1 innings of work.
He made numerous adjustments heading into the 2018 season and if he improves a few more things in 2019, we could see a truly historic year on the mound from the Rays ace.
Blake will get the ball on the first game of the year in what should be the first of many Opening Day starts in a Rays uniform.
Tyler Glasnow, RHP, 25
Coming over to the Rays in the Chris Archer trade, Glasnow began his career in Tampa Bay with a splash, striking out 20 in his first 12 innings of work. The towering right-hander features a high octane fastball along with a devastating curveball and an average changeup. Control of these pitches will be Glasnow main concern in 2019.
With the help of Rays pitching coach, Kyle Snyder, the Rays saw immediate improvements and will look for Glasnow to have a big 2019 season alongside Blake Snell.
Option A: Carlos Carrasco, RHP, 32
If the Rays are interested in paying the presumably high price tag to acquire Indians right-hander Carlos Carrasco, then the AL East race could heat up in a hurry. Since 2015, Carrasco has gone 60-36 with a combine ERA of 3.40, receiving Cy Young votes twice in those years.
Carrasco would be a welcome addition to a young Rays staff with no playoff experience but will cost the Rays a couple higher-end prospects. The good news is that the Rays would have 2 years of control, assuming they pick up his club option in 2020.
Option B: Trevor Cahill, RHP, 31
If the Rays are unwilling to trade prospects to acquire an impact starting pitcher, then signing Trevor Cahill would become a real possibility. One of the few impact starters likely in the Rays price range, look for the Rays to ink Cahill to a 2 year deal worth roughly 15 million.
After signing late with the Oakland Athletics, Cahill put together a very solid 2018 season on the mound. Cahill’s season was shortened due to a few minor injuries that will be of little concern to the Rays as they look ahead to 2019.
In 20 starts, the former all-star went 7-4 with a 3.76 ERA in 110 innings of work and is great at inducing ground balls which will work well with a very string Rays infield. Cahill, in my opinion is the most likely free agent starter to land in Tampa and he would be a good fit alongside Snell and Glasnow.