The devil is in the details. Since dropping the hellish adjective, the Tampa Bay Rays have etched their way into the baseball zeitgeist by being better than anyone else at squeezing every last drop of value out of every single roster spot throughout the entire organization. They’ve made their fair share of mistakes skating at the edges of 40-man roster management, particularly off-loading Nate Lowe and Joe Ryan for little return, but it’s a difficult balance to strike, and I’d rather a team remain aggressive than disappear into their own silo. Tampa initiates a lot of transactions, and most of them work out to their benefit.
On the other hand, they’ve been so good throughout the system that you could make a case for the club to stop trading for a season or two just to see how it looks for them to field a whole team of their own prospects. It’s not an option, of course. When you’re developing as many prospects as this team, you stand to lose them in 40-man waves every winter, so you reshuffle the deck, moving some ready-now players running out of minor league time for some far-away prototypes who’ll comprise another roster-crunch wave a few years down the road.Please, blog, may I have some more?