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Why the Rays are smarter than Yankees and Red Sox

ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA - MAY 11: A general view after Yandy Diaz #2 of the Tampa Bay Rays hit a 3-run homer off of Nestor Cortes Jr. #67 of the New York Yankees in the eighth inning of a baseball game at Tropicana Field on May 11, 2019 in St. Petersburg, Florida. The Rays won 7-2. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA - MAY 11: A general view after Yandy Diaz #2 of the Tampa Bay Rays hit a 3-run homer off of Nestor Cortes Jr. #67 of the New York Yankees in the eighth inning of a baseball game at Tropicana Field on May 11, 2019 in St. Petersburg, Florida. The Rays won 7-2. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
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Nathan Eovaldi has a 4.30 career ERA.(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Nathan Eovaldi has a 4.30 career ERA.(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

The Rays are a legitimate contender to win the division in 2020. They are stacked with great young talent and a couple of key veteran investments. How does a team assemble a roster that competes on a quarter of the money?

They avoid bad contracts like a ten-foot pole one refuses to touch with another ten-foot pole due to a crippling fear of the imminent return of the bubonic plague, and the possibility that one of these poles has been previously contaminated. I hate the plague.

The Rays have mastered the art of selling players when their values are high and before they earn a big paycheck. They are usually able to turn those players into multiple young prospects and repeat the cycle.

Here’s a look at the Red Sox, Yankees, and Rays contracts of $5 million or more.

2019 Red Sox Contracts $5MM+

  • David Price                                         $31,000,000
  • J.D. Martinez                                      $23,750,000
  • Rick Porcello                                      $21,125,000
  • Mookie Betts                                     $20,100,000
  • Pablo Sandoval                                 $18,445,000
  •  Nathan Eovaldi                                 $17,000,000
  • Dustin Pedroia                                  $15,125,000
  • Chris Sale                                            $15,000,000
  • Xander Bogaerts                               $12,000,000
  • Jackie Bradley Jr.                               $8,550,000
  • Mitch Moreland                                $6,500,000
  • Eduardo Nunez                                 $5,000,000

2019 Yankees Contracts $5MM+

  • Giancarlo Stanton                             $26,000,000
  • Masahiro Tanaka                               $22,000,000
  • Jacoby Ellsbury                                  $21,142,857
  • Aroldis Chapman                              $17,200,000
  • J.A. Happ                                              $17,000,000
  • Zack Britton                                       $13,000,000
  • D.J. LeMahieu                                     $12,000,000
  • Didi Gregorius                                    $11,750,000
  • Adam Ottavino                                  $9,000,000
  • James Paxton                                    $8,575,000
  • C.C. Sabathia                                      $8,000,000
  • Brett Gardner                                    $7,500,000
  • Dellin Betances                                 $7,250,000
  • Aaron Hicks                                        $6,285,714

2019 Rays’ Contracts $5MM+

  • Charlie Morton                                   $15,000,000
  • Kevin Kiermaier                                  $8,166,667
  • Edwin Encarnacion                            $5,000,000 (picked up in three-way trade with Cleveland and Seattle)

The Red Sox had 12 players making at least $5MM, the Yankees had 14, and the Rays had three. Of those three, only two were actually on the Rays roster, Encarnacion ended up on the Yankees. You are welcome Yankees.

On top of the talented young Major League roster, the Rays were rated the number Minor League system, as well.

Related Story. Rays Top Ranked Farm System. light

All of this led to the Rays being named Baseball America’s Organization of the Year. So Yankees, and Red Sox, you may have more championships, but you we laugh at your wasted money.

Did you know the Red Sox and Yankees paid Ellsbury, Standon, Happ, Porcello, Sandoval, and Eovaldi a combined $163,712,857 last season? That’s $100,000,000 more than the Rays entire payroll in 2019. Hilarious.

I will never understand the Eovaldi contract. Think about that, Eovaldi and Happ are getting paid more than Charlie Morton this year. Pablo-stinking-Sandoval is getting paid more than Morton this year.

Look, we aren’t jealous… or maybe we are. We also appreciate being able to compete with the mega-spenders.

Dear Yankees and Red Sox,

Even though we think you suffer from an inferior intelligence level, we still enjoy having you in the AL East. What is Star Wars without a big, dumb, old Darth Vader? A better comparison would be:

The Rays are like the Ninja Turltes where the Yankees and Red Sox are like the bankrolled buffoons of Bee-Bop and Rocksteady. 

Don’t get too upset, this is all in fun. I can claim we are smarter all I want, but we have no Championships…yet.

So here’s to 2020, and hopes that you have to use cash to sop up the tears in the northeastern United States when the Rays win the AL EAST. Oh yeah, and all the tears for the Yankees/Red Sox fans in Florida…we’ll leave room on the bandwagon.

Next. Which non-tenders would be a fit in Tampa?. dark

Do you think the Rays should waste more money like their AL counterparts? Let us know in the comments below.

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