Tampa Bay Rays: Figure out a way to make the franchise interesting again
Quick: Name the most memorable moment from the Rays’ 2016 season. Struggle to come up with anything? You’re not alone; Tampa Bay has been more or less a black hole when it comes to interesting or exciting baseball in the last three years, bottoming out with last season’s 94-loss pile of blandness. Stuck playing in front of sparse crowds—the club finished last in the majors in attendance for the second straight season, at just shy of 1.3 million—in a warehouse of a stadium with one of the game’s weakest offenses, there’s little to recommend about Rays baseball.
Maybe they should try something crazy in 2017: Shoot off fireworks after every inning; have every player wear a full tuxedo for one game; sign Jose Canseco and have him play every position at least once. More likely will be that they try something that would have once seemed crazy: trade Chris Archer. The team's ace righthander was reportedly dangled at last year's deadline, but after a mediocre season that included a major-league-worst 19 losses and a 101 ERA+, the potential return will no longer be as great as it might have been, even though he's still just 28 and has three years and $18.5 million guaranteed left on his contract. A return to relevance is going to be hard to come by for a team with no money and a deficit of talent, so ownership might as well try something to kickstart the rebuilding effort.