The Tampa Bay Rays had a three man competition for the final spot in their starting rotation this spring. The candidates were Jake Odorizzi, Erik Bedard, and Cesar Ramos.
On Saturday the Rays announced that the 22-year-old Odorizzi, with only six career starts under his belt, will claim the 5th spot in the rotation.
#Rays Maddon announced Odorizzi as 5th starter.
— RMooneyTBO (@RMooneyTBO) March 22, 2014
This starts a domino effect for the two guys who lost out. Chris Cotillo notes that Bedard will opt out of his deal with Tampa Bay and try to catch on with somebody else.
#Rays have named Jake Odorizzi as their fifth starter, meaning Erik Bedard is likely to opt out and become a free agent.
— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) March 22, 2014
Ramos, age 29, had the best showing in Spring Training of the bunch. Tommy Rancel notes that he might become an intriguing trade piece if the Rays do not hold onto him for depth.
With the way Ramos pitched, #Rays are in position to use him as an SP trade chip if opportunity arises. Worthwhile experiment.
— Tommy Rancel (@TRancel) March 22, 2014
For both Bedard and Ramos a team like the Philadelphia Phillies might make sense, especially because they have recently expressed a desire to add a starting pitcher.
In the end the Rays opted for the upside with Odorizzi. If he pops it makes the Rays’ rotation silly good as they try to reclaim the top of the American League East. From Joe Maddon himself.
Odorizzi is our 5th starter. Cesar and Frenchy were impressive, but we thought Jake was a better choice for this moment.
— Joe Maddon (@RaysJoeMaddon) March 22, 2014
Let’s just say that teams around the league would love to have the options that the Rays do with their pitching staff.