I’ve said it before, this is the best place in the Major Leagues to be a manager. And I really believe that this has become a destination spot for players. I know maybe we don’t pay the most money, but as a place to participate, and as a place to grow and feel free as a major leaguer and to take your game to the field, I think this is a great place to play.
This is probably true, but only to a certain extent.
If you are a fringe big leaguer that hasn’t gotten a shot in other organizations, the Rays are definitely an enticing destination. Not only will you get a shot to make the club, but if you do make the club, you won’t be buried on the bench, as Maddon uses all 25 players on the roster extensively.
But we doubt the same can be said for the top free agents. Even if the money was the same, which it isn’t, players with their choice of where to play are probably not targeting the Rays.
There is the minimal exposure in the Tampa-St. Pete market, and fewer marketing opportunities. There are the small crowds. There is The Trop and the Astroturf. And again, there is how Maddon uses his roster.
If you are a player that wants to play 155 games, you probably won’t do it with the Rays.
We think the Rays are a team many players would like to play for. And we believer Maddon is a manager that many players would prefer as a leader. But in the end, many of those same players also know there are other factors that are more important.
That being said, the Rays will always have the pick of the litter when it comes to the Jeff Keppingers of the world.