Tampa Bay Rays 2013 Season Preview:
Manager: Joe Madden (8th Season)
2012 Record: 90-72 (3rd in AL East)
Key Additions: OF Wil Myers, SS Yunel Escobar, 1B James Loney, P Jake Odorizzi, OF Shelly Duncan
Key Losses: P James Shields, OF B.J. Upton, 1B Carlos Pena, P J.P. Howell
2013 Outlook: The Tampa Bay Rays find a way to win, even when their lineup might not look imposing. Manager Joe Madden has proven to be one of the best in the business. The team is loaded with young talent mixed with a few savvy vets. This years big splash is expected to come from OF Wil Myers, who the Rays acquired from Kansas City. The young outfielder could be a long time superstar for Tampa Bay.
The pitching staff remains strong with David Price and Jeremy Hellickson at the top, and a solid 3-5. It will be interesting if letting Shields get away hurts the team by seasons end.
The lineup is a concern on paper. Outside of Ben Zobrist and Evan Longoria, the Tampa Bay Rays lack offensive fire power. With Myers still coming along, the team might not be able to keep up with Toronto, Baltimore, New York, or even Boston.
I expect the Rays to take a step backwards in 2013, if not two. Everyone in the division got better in the offseason, while Tampa Bay invested more in the future than the upcoming season. The Rays could finish last in the best division in baseball.