The Tampa Bay Rays have been are one of three teams that remain without representation in the Hall of Fame. When will the Rays’ time for enshrinement come?
With the 2020 Hall of Fame voting in the books, we take a look at the Tampa Bay Rays‘ lack of representation and who might present the best chance in the near future.
The 2020 Hall of Fame class consists of two players, Derek Jeter and Larry Walker. For Walker, it was his final year on the ballot and he will be inducted into the Hall while wearing the cap of the Colorado Rockies.
Jeter became the 21st Yankee inducted into the Hall of Fame. Larry Walker becomes the first Rockies player to receive the honor.
This is significant for Colorado because it removes them from the shortlist of teams that do not have a representative in Cooperstown.
Now, only the Nationals, Marlins, and Tampa Bay Rays remain without a representative in the Hall of Fame.
These teams have one thing in common: recency.
The Rays played their inaugural season in 1998 and the Marlins broke into the league in 1993. The Rockies joined the league with the marlins in that 1993 season and the Nationals set up shop in D.C. in 2005.
Currently, the Rays have attachments to a few veterans that could potentially present a Hall of Fame case, but the outlook is not very good right now.
David Price – Price is entering his age-34 season and has accumulated 150 wins with a career ERA of 3.31.
Price played for the Rays between 2008 and 2014 making three All-Star appearances and winning the Cy Young in 2012. He only pitched in 14.0 innings during the Rays’ magical 2008 season.
Price did pitch in 5.2 innings during that 2008 postseason, saving a game in the ALCS and giving up only one earned run.
He has played on four different teams and won a championship in 2018 with the Red Sox. While Price is hoping to bounceback from an injury-riddled 2019 season in which he ended with a 4.78 ERA.
He’s got quite a ways to go to be considered Hall-worthy. When it’s all said and done, he’ll likely have more innings pitched away from the Rays than with them. He also won a championship with a different team. If he is able to regain his form and finish his career with a strong case for the Hall, those future accomplishments will also have come with a non-Rays team.
The outlook is bleak.
Evan Longoria made three All-Star teams with the Rays and won the Rookie of the Year. He won three gold gloves and was on the cover of a video game.
Since 2013, his on-base percentages have been on the decline. In 2018 he finished with an abysmal .281 OBP at just 32-years-old. His power numbers have plummeted since his age-30 season with the rays.
Longoria has a career slugging percentage of .474 but hasn’t slugged above .437 in the past three seasons.
While Longoria began his career looking like a future Hall of Famer, the past few seasons have changed the narrative. He is only three homers from three hundred but he’s a career .267 hitter and heading into his age-34 season, his hopes are fading.
Like Price, he’s still young enough and compiled a pretty solid rWAR of 54.2. Longo is looking more and more like a long-shot, but he remains the Rays’ best hope at the moment.
It may be tough for the Rays to land a Hall of Famer due to their management style. They know when to sell a player and get a return rather than let them walk in free agency.
Will they sign any of their current young players to long-term extensions? Which player on the current roster has the best of enshrinement?