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The Tampa Bay Rays lost their genius general manager, then saw their manager step down to take the same job with the Chicago Cubs, and then broke up a lot of the roster in what appears to be the start of a rebuild.
The Rays already traded away David Price in the middle of last season, but dealt Wil Myers and Ben Zobrist as well. With a new regime in charge, it seems like the Rays are ready to retool.
The good news is that the cupboard isn't completely bare. The starting rotation is arguably the best in the division and has serious upside. Alex Cobb is the best starter in the AL East and Drew Smyly is ready to come into his own. Jake Odorizzi and Chris Archer are young and talented.
The Rays are going to need great pitching to win games because they aren't going to score a lot of runs. They were already a team that struggles to put runs on the board and that was before the loss of Zobrist and Myers.
It would certainly help if Evan Longoria could return to being one of the top players in the game. He's still a good player, but his numbers have fallen off the past two seasons.
It will be interesting to see how the Rays fare without Joe Maddon in the dugout. Will there be a culture change? Is this the beginning of the Rays becoming irrelevant? Time will tell.
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