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The Tampa Bay Rays have lost their two best starting pitchers this offseason, and manager Kevin Cash is now apparently Captain Obvious.
The Tampa Bay Rays always have to do more with less, and coming off a World Series appearance doesn’t change the equation. Payroll has to to remain down, or even be trimmed where possible. That’s a reality manager Kevin Cash has had to embrace, and he’s had success.
On that note, the Rays traded 2018 AL Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell to the San Diego Padres in late December. Before that, before the calendar even flipped to November, they declined Charlie Morton’s $15 million option for 2021. He landed with the Atlanta Braves on the same deal, one-year, $15 million.
Snell and Morton, even with an ERA during the regular season closer to 5.00 than 4.00 in the latter case, were arguably the Rays two best starting pitchers last year. Via Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, Cash was asked about the pitching losses on Friday.
Kevin Cash has become Captain Obvious
“It’s tough,” he said. “None of these decisions are easy. But we work within the parameters we think are best for the organization. Trading Blake Snell was extremely tough. Not having Charlie back is really, really tough.”
“You could make the argument, make the case, that from a starting pitching standpoint we took a step back. You could certainly say that, losing Blake and Charlie. But we’re very excited about the guys we have that are going to come in to compete for the opportunity.”
Losing your best two starting pitchers and not replacing them with similar quality is indeed a “step back”, which is too obvious for Cash to even have to say there’s a case for.
No offense to Tyler Glasnow, Ryan Yarbrough, Michael Wacha, Josh Fleming and Trevor Richards, who are slated to be Cash’s rotation to start the season right now, but the Rays are now at a deficit in the proverbial “arms race” they would not be in if they kept even one of Snell or Morton. With both gone, it’s a doubly huge step back in Tampa Bay’s quest to repeat as American League champions.