This has been a quiet offseason for the Tampa Bay Rays, with the team only grabbing one major signing in the form of Zach Eflin.
Although late, there is still time for the Rays to make a splash before camp starts, and there are a few players that would be realistic additions to this team.
1. DH Trey Mancini
A local product and World Series champion this most recent season for the Astros, Mancini would be a perfect fit for the Rays solely based on team needs for the Rays heading into 2023.
The Rays don't have a set-in-stone first baseman for the 2023 season after trading Choi to the Pirates earlier this offseason, and the team could use an extra bat in the lineup that can bring some "pop" in the lineup.
Looking at Mancini's numbers last season, he was able to hit for 18 home runs with a line of .239/.319/.391, which are solid numbers for Mancini, who is only in his second season back from his battle against colon cancer.
Mancini would be a great fit for this team, and with him being from Winter Haven, FL, Mancini might be more inclined to jump on and sign a deal with a hometown team.
2. Relief Pitcher Keone Kela
Pitching is an interesting position in terms of needs for the Rays.
For the most part, the team's starting rotation is set for the season, but the Rays are known as a team to grab an arm late in the offseason, and I expect that to be the same here in 2023.
I don't see it being a starting pitcher, but a relief pitcher in the form of Keone Kela.
Kela, who last saw the big leagues in 2021, could be an interesting grab for the team late this offseason.
Although he has seen a decline in his numbers, resulting in Kela spending all of the 2022 season in the minors, he has shown to be a very effective bullpen arm, putting up a 2.49 career ERA in Pittsburgh, establishing himself as an important piece for the Pirates.
While he may be a risk-reward player, the Rays have struck gold on cheap free agent signings, so as long as Kela isn't asking for anything crazy, he could be a good fit for this team, especially as a guy who has dominated in the past.
3. C Jorge Alfaro
The catcher position took a bit of damage for the Rays this offseason in the form of losing Zunino to free agency.
Mejia, while young, hasn't lived up to what he can be, and while the Rays should still give him another season or two to fully transition and develop into a starter role behind the plate, having an insurance policy would be ideal.
The catcher position has been cleaned out for the most part in terms of day one starters for teams, but in the Rays' case, a player like Jorge Alfaro would fit well in terms of looking for an "insurance policy."
Alfaro spent the 2022 season with the Padres, and while he didn't hit as well as he did in Miami from 2018 to 2019, he still managed to hit a respectable. 246 in 82 games last season for the Friars.
While I wouldn't expect Alfaro to be an Opening Day starter if the Rays did bring him, he would definitely bring some competition against the former Padre in his own right, Francisco Mejia.