Three Things To Focus On With The Rays Coming Into 2014
1) GETTING THEIR MONEY’S WORTH: The focus this winter was on keeping together last year’s team, which won 92 games and lost to Boston in the ALDS including a decision, at least for now, to not trade ace David Price, who was given a $14 million, one-year salary that’s a big chunk of a projected opening-day payroll of nearly $80 million — a franchise high.
2) SCORE SOME MORE: They were ninth in the AL in runs scored a year ago, however, there’s potential to be more potent in 2014 with Hanigan added to the mix and reigning rookie of the year Wil Myers and late 2013 addition David DeJesus in the lineup for full seasons.
3) SHUT THE DOOR: Closer Fernando Rodney is gone after two successful seasons in Tampa Bay, but manager Joe Maddon feels good about replacing him with Balfour, who signed a $12 million, two-year deal after converting 62 of 67 save opportunities for Oakland over the past two seasons.
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