Desmond JenningsSports Illustrated gave the Rays a D+ for their offseason moves and seemingly little chance of making the playoffs. Now comes Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports who has a completely different spin on the Rays’ offseason moves — he likes what the Rays did, a lot.

Morosi was a guest on the MLB Network Radio and called the Rays his crush and makes the offense sound a lot better than most of us are giving the Rays credit for.

“My crush this week has been on the Rays,” Morosi said. “I like them. I think the Rays have a chance to have a really, really good offense. You think about the amount of bats they have added since the season ended (host laughs), now, now, these are not major names, but [Corey] Dickerson, they’ll get a healthy Jennings back they think. They add Brad Miller. Miller can hit. Defensively, obviously some questions, but he can hit. They add [Logan Morrison]. They add Steve Pearce. That’s a good offensive club. Not a great one, but a good one.”

Morosi then goes on to note that the offense can “potentially” be good, and when paired with the pitching, he says the Rays are a “very, very scary team in the American League East” and “a playoff team in 2016.”

Of course, the key word there is “potentially.” The Rays “potentially” have a great team every year. But they are also seemingly one injury, or one underperforming Evan Longoria, or one stroke of bad luck away from being mediocre.

While the Rays do have depth in the rotation, what they never have is depth on offense. Will that change this year? Are you confident that Longoria will have a big year with the bat (He hasn’t had an .800 OPS season since 2013)? Are you confident that Jennings will finally have his breakout season (he has never played 140 games in a season)? Are you confident that Dickerson can produce away from Coors Field (.410 career home OBP vs .286 on the road)? Are you confident that Steven Souza will finally find some consistency (he never has)?

If you do have confidence in all those things, great. But what happens when any of those go astray, or worse, all of them? 75 wins happens and you start wondering if maybe the Astros had it right and the Rays should have tanked a few seasons instead.

Here is the segment from Morosi:

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7 Comments

  1. angry buddha says:

    Cork!!

    Welcome back.

    We missed you.

    Here's to more regular posts and analysis... in a few days, there won't even be football to talk about. We need Rays Index back!

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  2. Rob says:

    I think the offense is going to be better than last year's, maybe even much better. What I am more concerned about is whether the Rays are sacrificing any defense for that offense - time will tell.

    What we can count on is that there will be players who perform higher than expected, as expected, and lower than expected. If last season is the barometer and is set at 0 and relative to only their own performances, who are your +2, +1, 0, -1, and -2 players (sort of an arbitrary scale)?

    Last year I would argue that KK and Forsythe were your +2 position players while Rivera and Loney were your -2 position players. I predict this year the +2 player is Souza and Forsythe regresses somewhat (-1), but Logan's year will be offset by a strong year from Longoria (+1). KK's bat needs to improve this year as well - I don't see how he can replicate one of the best defensive seasons of all time. I say -1 for him as well.

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    • Rob says:

      Just thinking about this some more. If you want to do this for an entire roster , you would need to compare a newly acquired or promoted player to the player he is replacing. So, if Dickerson is likely replacing Jennings/Guyer in left, his coefficient could be a projected +1.

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  3. Mike says:

    Too many innings where player hits double to open the frame and is stranded there. They also run bases awful. No speed runners move up one base at a time.They never heard of the BUNT to move runners from second to third or hitting to the right side with less than two outs.

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  4. Brent says:

    It is GREAT to have a "potential" playoff team, and some years a "potential" World Series team to root for EVERY year...
    And w/ the young talent locked into long contracts, it should be for years to come as well...

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  5. Gus says:

    With one big caveat, this could be the best Rays team since 2012.

    My caveat is, of course, the bullpen. I'm still suffering from Boxberger fatigue from his collapse in the back half of 2015 -- forget the save numbers, he was god awful for most of that period if you actually watched the games; they gambled with the Jepsen trade, and they couldn't hold the fort. I just don't think he can be the closer, don't trust Colome, and the rest of them who knows.

    But that is what spring if for, figuring out which bullpen arm is showing up. Dickerson, KK, Guyer -- that is a fun OF to watch. Good young team. Hopefully Longo's power shows up again -- many great players like him go throw lulls like that around 30 and then have a resurgence.

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  6. Political_Man says:

    It will be interesting to see what Longoria can do if he gets some support in the lineup again. Let's face it, we've had some average hitters around Longoria during his "decline." You can't expect any hitter not on steroids and not named Babe or Hank to maintain the same numbers whenot the other threats in the lineup disappear.

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