Tampa Bay Rays 2013/14 Off-Season Preview

Strengths:  Front Office and Manager.  Joe Maddon is as good a manager as there is in baseball.  The whole Rays organization does an incredible job of advanced scouting and it shows in their success in turning guys like James Loney into valuable commodities and the success of the defensive shift.  They also have some great young talent in Wil Myers and Desmond Jennings along with a talented young staff.

Weaknesses:  Payroll.  The Rays will never be able to compete with the Red Sox and Yankees when it comes to payroll, which is why they have to get so creative with roster construction.  They will once again have to piece together castoffs from other teams and hope they hit another home run.

Off-Season Needs: Figure out what to do with David Price.  He is as good a pitcher as there Is baseball, but he will soon become far too expensive for the Rays.  They will likely have to deal him this offseason to build more pieces to keep the team competitive.  They need to add a first baseman and catcher desperately. 

2014 Projection:  Is it really possible to ever count out the Rays?  They are probably the second or third best team in the division and will challenge for a Wild Card bid, but that is more based on track record than the talent on paper.

You can follow Shaun Kernahan on twitter @shaunkernahan, add him to your network on Google, and like Shaun on Facebook.

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