For the past decade, one of the most interesting teams in Major League Baseball has continued to be the Tampa Bay Rays. While the Tampa Bay Rays do not always have the payroll budget and other resources to compete with the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, and other major-market teams, they still manage to do their best to always put a very competitive team on the field. In that time, the team has made several playoff appearances and has looked like a World Series favorite several seasons.
During the 2017 Major League Baseball season, the Tampa Bay Rays ended up finishing third in the American League East Division with a record of 80 wins and 82 losses. While this was not good enough for the team to make the playoffs, the team had plenty of talent on their roster and has many reasons to look forward to the coming year. Some of the leaders on their offense included Logan Morrison, Evan Longoria, and Corey Dickerson. These three players should continue to be a cornerstone of the offense and starting lineup for years to come.
While the starting lineup appears to be in pretty good shape for the coming season, the starting pitching rotation is still up for grabs (https://rayscoloredglasses.com/2017/11/01/tampa-bay-rays-candidates-2018-rotation/). As the 2017 world series comes to a close, the Tampa Bay Rays are already starting to think about their starting rotation for the following year and have already started to identify who could and may not be among the five starters in the pitching rotation.
During the 2017 season, the Tampa Bay Rays starting pitching rotation was led by starting pitcher Alex Cobb. Alex Cobb ended up winning 12 games and led the team in ERA. While he was a star for the team, it is very unlikely that he will be back next year. Cobb is a free agent and will likely win a big deal from a team in one of the major markets. While he will be missed, there are other pictures on the team that will have the opportunity to take a step forward. One of the most exciting players on the team is starting pitcher Chris Archer. Last year he had nearly 250 strikeouts and will once again be a leading pitcher in the rotation.