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Tampa Bay Rays: 3 Things on Every Fan’s Christmas List

With the holidays coming up (or just past depending on what you celebrate), everyone has a different list of things they want. Some people want new clothes, a new glove or bat or even some cash to get whatever they want. For Rays fans, there are a few things that are on fan’s list this year so let’s get into it.

  1. The Starters to Hold Down the Rotation

With Tyler Glasnow missing all of 2022, there are a few questions at what is going to happen in the Rays rotation. As it currently sits, Shane McClanahan, Corey Kluber, Luis Patino and Drew Rasmussen look to eat up the most amount of innings this coming season. Along with those four, expect Shane Baz to also be in the mix to eat some innings. Ryan Yarbrough should also start a few games as well as pitching a few game behinds some openers.

Hopefully, Yonny Chirinos can return soon after suffering a setback in his Tommy John rehab in September. As far as starters go, it would be ideal for the Rays to go out and try and get a veteran starter in some capacity to try and replace the Michael Wacha/Rich Hill role from last year.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – JUNE 14: Starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow #20 of the Tampa Bay Rays delivers the ball against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on June 14, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

2. Keep Kevin Kiermaier

Now let me be honest, I can see both sides of this argument. Kiermaier is a great centerfielder and there are many teams who would trade for him. If the Rays wanted to, they could trade Kiermaier to a team like Seattle or Detroit who are in the need for a CF and add to their already talented farm system.

However, I think that Keirmaier is talented enough that he can be used along with Brett Phillips and/or Josh Lowe coming up when the Rays decide they want to go with a heavier lefty lineup. However, i can see the idea of getting rid of Kiermaier since all three of those guys hit from the left side.

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 07: Kevin Kiermaier #39 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates after hitting a three run home run against the New York Yankees during the fourth inning in Game Three of the American League Division Series at PETCO Park on October 07, 2020 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

3. Let Go of Yandy Diaz and Ji-Man Choi

One of the Rays biggest problems might be a good problem to have. There is a logjam of position players and MLB-ready prospects that are filling up the roster. The way to fix this problem is to move a few big leaguers and let them move on to another team. Specifically Ji-Man Choi and Yandy Diaz. Choi batted .229 last year and put up his second worst dWAR at -10.1. Choi has never had a season with a positive WAR and defensively not something the Rays need. Diaz played the most amount of games in his career last year at 134 but before that, he never eclipsed more than 79. He is also not the best defensively and there a few replacements for both of these players such as Brandon Lowe, Austin Meadows, or even Jordan Lupow.

ARLINGTON, TEXAS – OCTOBER 27: Ji-Man Choi #26 of the Tampa Bay Rays reacts after striking out against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the first inning in Game Six of the 2020 MLB World Series at Globe Life Field on October 27, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

The Rays are in a position where they do not need to make a ton of moves when the lockout ends. The Rays are coming off a 100-62 record last year and signing Wander Franco to a huge extension and things are looking up for them. A few more minor moves could push the Rays over that edge. Follow me on Twitter @JKoettersWords for more of my content. Don’t forget to listen to our baseball podcast, Cheap Seats Chatter! We’ll see ya there! Come join the discussion made by the fans at the Overtime Heroics forums! A place for all sports!

Main image credit Embed from Getty Images

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