After a dismal 66-93 2007 season, you'd usually expect a team to be pessimistic about the next year. This is not the case with the Rays. They have by far the best farm system in the game, and will be looking for contributions from the likes of Evan Longoria, Jeff Niemann, and quite possibly the first man ever taken in a televised MLB Rule 4 draft, David Price.
The Rays have also picked up talent via free agency and the trade market this year:Traded Delmon Young, Brendan Harris, and Jason Pridie to the Twins for Matt Garza and Jason Bartlett: While I still think the Twins won this deal, it will certainly help out the Rays. Garza gives them a very formidable rotation for the first time in club history.
Traded Jeff Ridgeway to Atlanta for Willy Aybar.
Signed Cliff Floyd to a one year deal with an option for 2009.
Signed Troy Percival to a 2 year deal.
Clearly the Rays will be a much better team in '08. In fact, they will, quite possibly... brace yourselves... be over .500 this year. Does that mean a 3rd place finish?
Quick Rundown: Catcher: Dioner Navarro; 1B: Carlos Pena; 2B: Akinori Iwamura; SS: Jason Bartlett; 3B: Evan Longoria; LF: Carl Crawford; CF: B.J. Upton; RF: Cliff Floyd; DH: Rocco Baldelli (for about 2 games)
Rotation: SP1: Scott Kazmir; SP2: Matt Garza, SP3: James Shield; SP4: Andy Sonnanstine/Edwin Jackson; SP5: Jeff Niemann/Jason Hammel/David Price