As the book on the 2022 season comes to a close, the Tampa Bay Rays now have to be looking forward to 2023 and how they can improve on their previous season. A fourth consecutive postseason berth is always great, but that elusive World Series title is what the franchise has been truly seeking.
Unfortunately, injuries marred the Rays this year and rarely gave them a chance to play opponents at full strength. Pitchers and hitters alike, it seemed like almost everyone took a trip to the injured list. These things happen every year, of course, but even trade deadline additions such as David Peralta and Christian Bethancourt provided less than expected on the offensive side. According to Maury Ahram of mlbtraderumors.com, the Rays as a collective displayed a lackluster hitting performance all season, slashing .239/.309/.377 compared to the .250/.327/.424 line that was posted in 2021.
This offseason needs to be used to address these offensive issues and maybe even add a solid arm or two to the rotation. The Rays have already put together a very talented young core, headlined by Silver Slugger finalist Randy Arozarena, stud shortstop Wander Franco, and the power pitching duo of Shane McClanahan and Tyler Glasnow. There's a lot to be excited about here in the future, but there are definitely still some pieces missing. Check out these five free agents who I believe will have a significant impact in Tampa Bay in the future!