Build Around: Shane McClanahan
Speaking of an elite rotation, Shane McClanahan has had himself a breakout 2022 season, proving to already be one of the best pitchers in baseball and perhaps the lead ace among aces on this projected Rays rotation.
McClanahan is only 25 years old, and yet has an ERA of 2.10 with a K/9 sitting at 12.45 across 64.1 innings of work. His performance so far in his career is not just impressive amongst current pitchers, but all timers as well.
The Rays lefty is one of the leading candidates for the Cy Young award this season, and has done so on a consistent basis. McClanahan has already shown he is not afraid of the big stages either, pitching in the post season last year as a rookie and dominating the deadly Angels lineup in a pitchers dual against Shohei Ohtani.
The Rays need to build around McClanahan. If at all possible, they should sign up to a long term deal like they did for Wander Franco. It is no pipe dream to say that McClanahan, Baz, and Glasnow could be this generation's Maddux, Glavine, and Smoltz if they all remain healthy, and the Rays cannot afford to breakup that trio any time soon.
McClanahan out of the bunch has proved to be not only the best, but the healthiest, and has what it takes to lead the Tampa Bay rotation for years to come. This Ray is one that needs built around, let's hope the Rays do everything in their power to do so.