The Rays are expected to have a good season ahead of them for 2014.
Last year, after 162 games, the Rays had a 91-71 record. They tied with the Texas Rangers for the last remaining wild card berth, but the Rays won the tie-breaker game. They then beat the Cleveland Indians in the 2013 American League Wild Card Game to advance to the 2013 American League Division Series, where they lost in four games.
During the offseason, the Rays faced the same problem they do every year—staying competitive on a small budget. Competing against big-money teams like the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox makes competing in the American League East difficult for the Rays.
However, even on a tight budget, the Rays have managed to resign righty pitcher Juan Carolos Oviedo, catcher Jose Molina and first baseman James Loney. They picked up relief pitcher Heath Bell from the Arizona Diamondbacks, as well as Ryan Hanigan from the Cincinnati Reds. Hanigan, although not a great offensive catcher, led the National League in caught-stealing percentages in 2012 and 2013, according to Bleacher Report.
This year, here are Bleacher Report’s top players to look out for on the Rays:
3. Alex Colome, RHP
2. Jake Odorizzi, RHP
1. Enny Romero, LHP