What Does 2019 Look Like for the Tampa Bay Rays?


Photo via ESPN.com

Ravi Panchigar, Staff Writer

It’s that time of the year again, baseball season is almost back. With Spring Training about a month away and the Rays being active in the offseason after a 90-72 record, the team hopes for a successful 2019 season.

 After an impressive season last year and falling just short of the playoffs, the Rays have been adding some weapons to take the next step. First, to start off the offseason, the Rays signed former pitcher for the Houston Astros Charlie Morton to a 2-year, 30 million dollar deal. The annual salary of 15 million a year makes him one of the highest paid players in Rays history. Morton pitched a solid 2017 season. According to baseballreference.com, Morton had 15 wins and only 3 losses posting an ERA of 3.13. Morton will be placed behind CY Young award winner Blake Snell as the number two pitcher on the team.

 Another key addition was a trade for catcher Mike Zunino. At the beginning of the year, the Rays traded young outfielder Mallex Smith for Zunino. He is one of the best defensive catchers in the league who has minimal errors on his resume behind the plate. He also put up impressive numbers offensively, with 20 home runs last year. Zunino is a catcher the Rays dreamed of and was much needed.

 The Rays signed an inconsistent power hitter Avisail Garcia to a 1-year, 3.5 million dollar deal. Garcia is a former outfielder for the Chicago White Sox, an All-Star in 2017. Garcia hit for 19 home runs and posted an average of .236. Garcia will join the crowded Rays outfield who will mainly hit against left-handed pitchers.

 With all these additions, the upcoming Rays season is one to look forward to in a while. This offseason has been one of the most active the Rays have been and are looking to stretch deep in the playoffs.

 One more noteworthy thing the Rays have done this offseason is that they have decided to cut seating in the entire upper level at Tropicana Field. Reducing the stadium capacity to 25,000 to 26,000 from about 30,000.