5 offseason moves Tampa Bay Rays must make after ALDS loss

(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
2 of 6
(Photo by Cooper Neill/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
(Photo by Cooper Neill/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

5. Sign players before arbitration

We discussed this earlier, but the Rays have an insane amount of players heading to arbitration or pre-arbitration. Arbitration can get extremely hairy, and having this many players eligible for arbitration this season. definitely will

The players up for arbitration this offseason include Tommy Pham, Tyler Glasnow, Matt Duffy and Mike Zunino. There’s a bunch of other players that the GM has to sign, but since they are in pre-arbitration, it’s not imperative to sign them now.

Pham and Glasnow are obviously the big players to sign this offseason, and putting a price on them is going to be very hard. Pham is already 31 years old. He’s coming off his best season, but he was really good last season as well. Again, he’s already 31 years old. How soon will we see him fall out of his prime? Those are the decisions the Rays usually make.

When it comes to Glasnow, there is one thing that’s a major concern: Can he stay healthy? This season, injuries dropped him to just 60 innings. He was awesome in those innings, but a player that only made 12 starts isn’t going to break the bank. Even with a 1.78 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP, his greatest ability has to be availability. He’s only 26 years old, but injuries are always going to be a worry with him.

Getting these contracts done sooner rather than later will make the rest of the offseason a lot better. It gives the team perspective of what everything is going to cost, and how much more they will have available. We don’t see owner Stu Sternberg opening up his checkbook much more, but if they can get the major pieces locked up, then they can focus on filling up holes.