It is no secret that the Rays are facing a huge roster overhaul this off-season. Just how big? Let’s take a look at how much the roster has changed since opening day of the Rays’ 2008 World Series team…

Most of the discussion this off-season has been about how Andrew Friedman must completely rebuild the bullpen. But look at the position players. If we assume that Jason Bartlett will be traded before opening day (he will be), then BJ Upton is the only hitter from the 2008 opening day roster that will still be on the active roster in 2011. Yes, BJ Upton.

There is a chance Willy Aybar and Elliot Johnson could be on the opening day roster in 2011, but neither is a sure thing. Aybar is currently a free agent and Johnson spent all of 2010 in the minors.

Meanwhile, JP Howell is the only reliever that remains from opening day, 2008 (we are assuming he re-signs with the Rays). And he will start the 2011 season on the DL after missing all of 2010. Andy Sonnanstine will also be back in 2011, but he was a starting pitcher in 2008.

And if we look at the 2010 opening day roster, we see that only 8 of the 20 non-starting pitchers will still be with the team in 2011.

With five starting pitchers returning in 2011, along with Evan Longoria, it is easy to think the Rays could still be a contender. But if the Rays aren’t spending money to fill all the holes, this could be too many changes to overcome.

 
 

12 Comments

  1. Don says:

    Agent Borass hit it right out of the park today in the St. Pete times when he said ” Friedman and SS did ABOUT everything right to build a winner and now they are folding under the pressures of payroll….”
    The shame about that to me… is that they have the money for a $60-70 mil dollar payroll but are concentrating on the bottom line profitability of a “hobby” business for them…
    They have their money from wall street… but insist on making MORE from baseball….WHY ruin a good thing???

    • Michael says:

      Don,

      They do not have the money. What can you not get about that? They spent more than they had in 2010, so they have to cut back this year. Plus, the attendance figures stink. You provide horrible insight and troll for the purpose of doing it. I know it is hard for somone who dropped out of HS and is a garbage man, but please knock it off. Thank you.

      • Don says:

        Hey Mikey, The garbage business is fine…What YOU don’t understand Stu Stern’s life wouldn’t change if he ever made a dime on the Rays or even if he lost a few million a year…
        They (stu & co.) don’t HAVE to do anything depending on the money they make from the Rays…
        Good luck in you life in the small financial world!

  2. Michelob says:

    Stuart made a HUGE mistake thinking he would buy this team and make a yearly profit. Teams in small markets are NOT going to be big profit-generators. They only return money to the owners’ pockets when the team is a consistent winner and/or they sell a winning franchise.

    What Stuart and “the boys” SHOULD be doing is methodically building a yearly winner, building goodwill and the subsequent fan base that would follow. Instead, Rays ownership is falling into the same pattern as other Tampa Bay professional franchises: trying to make money and berating fans who “don’t show up.” What Stuart has missed is the decades of other ownership groups betraying fans. Tampa Bay fans have spent YEARS and TEARS being given teams who were poorly put together or drastically underfunded (or both), while those owners tried to put money in their own pockets. Look at Culverhouse, almost ALL of the Lightning owners before Vinick, Namoli, and, now, even the Glazers.

    It is simple, folks: when fans are taken advantage of, they lose interest. We spent a whole year listening to negatives from ownership about the future: payroll reduction, losing CC, criticism of the fans, moving the team, etc. Does anyone in their right mind think that will build goodwill and a desire to go to the games?

    I think Tampa Bay fans are SO tired of all the negative news about all of the local franchises. We spent the last TWO years hearing about Vinny being traded, Brian Lawton’s destroying the team, and all the infighting in the Lightning ownership group. We spent FIVE years as fans of the WORST-FUNDED team in the NFL, the Glazers pouring ALL their moiney into Manchester Untited, and all the complaints from players about Gruden. We have spent the last TWO years hearing about Rays stadium issues, their not making money, payroll reductions, player losses, and lack of attendance. Shoot, we even lost the Storm for awhile.

    I challenge the ownership of all Tampa professional sports teams to focus on one task: BUILD WINNING TEAMS. As fans’ economic situations improve, they will support their teams, but they WILL NOT support teams where the owners don’t care enough to do what it takes to put a winner on the field.

  3. Brad says:

    If hellickson isn’t in the starting rotation on opening day I’ll eat my shoe.

    • Cork Gaines says:

      Some said the same about Longoria and Price. The Rays track record with top prospects is to start the season in Durham. Part of that may be due the microscope placed on teams and players in the first couple of weeks of the season when fans and writers tend to overreact and overcriticize. The Rays may be trying to avoid unneeded pressure on players that young.

  4. Hal says:

    Man this chart backs my argument that we’ll be better next year – look at that ’08 bench and bullpen! We’ll miss CC and the bullpen will be more of a mystery, but everything else is an upgrade. You have to also think that the starters will perform better this year. Aside from Lee, tell me how the Yankees are getting better.

  5. Scot says:

    Important addition: Matt Joyce will be the starting RF next year as he was essentially during most of the 2nd half of 2010.

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