As Spring Training rapidly approaches this year, the Tampa Bay Rays are still looking to strengthen their roster in hopes of a deeper playoff run than in 2022. One of the most important points heading into the offseason appeared to be bolstering the offensive side of the ball. However, a lack of activity in free agency has left the Rays with most of the squad they finished last year with.
Baseball Operations President Erik Neander mentioned in the season's wrap-up media session that the Rays would likely need to add some offensive firepower in the offseason. Tampa Bay dropped off significantly last year in run production compared to 2021, falling from 2nd in the league all the way to 21st. A few potential free agent targets in Sean Murphy, Trey Mancini, and Willson Contreras all inked deals with other teams, leaving the Rays empty-handed when it came to new lineup additions.
Starting pitching was an area the Rays did target in free agency, however, signing Zach Eflin to a 3-year deal to insert immediately into an already potent rotation. McClanahan, Glasnow, Eflin, Rasmussen, and Springs project to be the five starters for Tampa Bay this season, and many faces from last year's strong bullpen will likely be returning to solidify relief pitching. If health holds up, this could be one of the more efficient pitching staffs in the league, but as we all know, you're going to need to score some runs to win.
In this article, I'll be reviewing some of the most prominent areas of need for the Tampa Bay Rays in the upcoming 2023 season!