joshheines wrote:Admit it, the Rays are players in the AL East.
Hey, absolutely they're players. I don't think anyone in this thread has said, "Awww, c'mon... Rays are going to be the Rays and win 65 games every season." But to say, hands down, they're going to win the division in 2010/2011? That's a strong statement that I wouldn't make about any team in any division. I'll say some teams that I definitely think won't
be in the hunt in 2010/2011 (Pirates, Rangers, Twins, Giants), but that's about it.
First, I don't know how you can count on Crawford. I might be wrong, but I think his contract is up in the next year of so (including options)? Maybe the Rays bust their bank to resign him, but based upon past history, I doubt it.
Second, you're basically looking at current teams + prospects = future team when everyone knows that's not how the Yankees or Red Sox operate. Both of them have toned it down a bit in the last couple of years but they've both shown willingness to go out and fill needs in FA. There aren't that many blue-chippers coming down the pipe, Sabathia and Tex are the big FAs and Holliday may be traded if the Rox feel they can't work out something long-term, but enough players shuffle around that you have to include the FA wild card in any 3-year projection.
Third, there's a big difference between prospects and stars. I know Sox prospects better than I do others, so this'll be slanted, but Andy Marte was supposed to be the next big thing. And.... not so much. Hanley Ramirez was supposed to be the next big thing. And.... bingo bango bongo. There's plenty of highly-touted prospects who turn into the dreaded AAAA player, a number who become solid contributors, and a very few who become the perennial All Star.
If you just want to say: The Rays have great prospects. Their current crop of minor-leaguers will be better than the Yankees or Red Sox current minor-leaguers in 2010, that's fine. You have a decent argument. Or even if you just want to say, "The Rays look really good for 2010." But the title of your post is: "Rays will win the AL East in 3 years" and that's something different entirely.
0-3 to 4-3. Worst choke in the history of baseball. Enough said.